City Celebrates ‘Ernie DiBurro Day’ with Opening of New Clubhouse

Ernie DiBurro was honored during a ceremony with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini in 2017 for his gift of a new Trinity Stadium clubhouse, with. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Ernie DiBurro, the benefactor behind the new Trinity Stadium clubhouse, with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News photograph.)

School Superintendent james F. Scully and Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News photograph.)

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Haverhill High School formally dedicated its new $900,000 Trinity Stadium clubhouse Friday night by honoring longtime benefactor Ernie DiBurro.

Officials credited DiBurro’s vision, financial backing and even daily stints as the project’s clerk of the works for making the clubhouse possible. The new 5,000-square-foot building provides rooms for training, exercise and therapy; coaches; bathrooms and showers; and, finally, a locker room for girls. School Superintendent James F. Scully noted DiBurro’s past and continuing donations totaling more than $1.5 million. Pouring rain just feet away did nothing to dampen Scully’s praise.

“So there are people as you go through life—like Ernie—that give money, but also give their heart and their soul. I think that’s the lesson of this building…it’s a building that represents someone’s great love for his life in Haverhill and Haverhill High School,” the superintendent said.

Haverhill High Athletic Director Thomas O’Brien. (WHAV News photograph.)

Scully explained that over the past eight years, DiBurro not only provided money and time to building the new clubhouse, but also provided behind-the-scenes money for a new weight room, new fence, new athletic fields, new lighting and a clock at Haverhill High School, as well as scholarships for graduates.

As important as his money, the superintendent said, was DiBurro’s time and commitment.

“But more important than a check is when people give their time, their effort and their love. I know Ernie’s family knows this, but Ernie always wants to do things to help the children of Haverhill.”

Haverhill High Athletic Director Thomas O’Brien detailed DiBurro’s hands-on approach.

“He’s involved every single day and you wouldn’t believe it with this place when people probably see he donated $900,000 to build this place, you’d think he hired somebody to do it. But, he was down here five-, six-days-a-week, every single week of this project—sometimes two or three times a day—overseeing every inch of this place being built,” O’Brien said.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini issued a proclamation, declaring the day “Ernie DiBurro Day.” “This is a tremendous thing that we couldn’t do on our own, but Ernie DiBurro approached me some time ago and said that he wanted to do this for the City of Haverhill.”

Ernie DiBurro cuts ribbon. (WHAV News photograph.)

DiBurro, a member of Haverhill High’s class of 1952, has owned Academy Lanes in Bradford for more than 50 years. He played down his role, telling the audience there were many hurdles that officials had to overcome, including flood zone rules, to build the new clubhouse.

“I put a deposit down to try to build the building and it didn’t look like it was going to happen. I said, ‘Tom. What are we going to do?’ We came up with some ideas as to what we were going to do with the money that had already been set aside to do this building because at that moment, to be honest with you, it didn’t look like it was going to happen,” DiBurro said.

DiBurro added he is proud of the result of the commitment to students. “With the help of Superintendent Scully and Tom O’Brien, we have more athletes playing sports in the City of Haverhill today than ever.”

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, noting former Rep. Brian S. Dempsey’s praise of DiBurro, made sure the former state representative played a role in Friday’s ceremony—adding his name to a State House citation.

“I pressed Brian into doing one citation. He told me it was completely illegal. I told him it didn’t matter. We’re going to do it anyway,” Campbell joked.

Among others attending the ceremony were Dennis Marcello, representing Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives; City Council President John A. Michitson; council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett; Councilors William J. Macek, Colin F. LePage and Thomas J. Sullivan; School Committee members Paul A. Magliochetti, Shaun P. Toohey and Gail M. Sullivan; Haverhill Touchdown Club’s William Moynihan; Haverhill High Principal Beth Kitsos; and Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Donovan.

2 thoughts on “City Celebrates ‘Ernie DiBurro Day’ with Opening of New Clubhouse

  1. Congrats to all involved. Mr. DiBurro continues to show what community is all about. We know the Mayor never would have paid for this new facility. I still wonder what the Mayor did with that $300k he “stole” from the Hunking budget ??

    • If you believe that the mayor stole then you should deliver your evidence to the District Attorney.

      Otherwise, your just another big mouth. Prove me wrong. Bring your evidence to the law enforcement agency or news outlet of your choice.

      I dare you.