Baseball field 5 at the Nova Community Center is no longer. Now, it's the "Dwight DuRant Baseball Field," in honor of DuRant's contributions to leisure services and youth sports in Ormond Beach over the last three decades.
The city held a dedication ceremony to christen the field on Friday, March 13, which was attended by several members of DuRant's family, city officials and Zev Cohen and Associates employees, a local civil engineering firm of which DuRant is president.
DuRant, who moved to Ormond Beach over 32 years ago, has served on the Ormond Beach Youth Baseball and Softball Association and the Ormond Beach Pop Warner Football and Cheer, as well as coached for both programs. He has also coached basketball in the city.
His involvement goes beyond the fields; DuRant has helped with the creation of Andy Romano Beachfront Park, the Doug Wigley T-Ball Field Complex, the practice football fields at Ormond Beach Middle School and the Ormond Beach Championship Football and Soccer Stadium, to name a few.
“In his various roles, Dwight Durant has always championed youth and recreation interests," said Mayor Bill Partington, who read the proclamation at the dedication.
Doug Wigley, of the Ormond Beach Youth Baseball and Softball Association said baseball field 5 was an example of DuRant having vision. He was the one to suggest the field be flipped so as to avoid players having to deal with sun in their eyes during games.
“Every city needs a Dwight Durant, who not only has the talent, the resources, the professionalism, he also has an unselfish attitude along with a philanthropic nature of wanting to give back to his city in such a way that he improves the quality of life for everybody in Ormond Beach," Wigley said.
Former City Commissioner Rick Boehm, who currently serves on the city's Leisure Services Advisory Board, said he has worked with DuRant in the past on a variety of projects, and that DuRant has always been ready to help. He listed men like Andy Romano, Harry Wendelstedt, Doug Thomas, Ike Leary and Wigley — all men who've had something named for them in the city due to their contributions.
“That’s the person you have here," Boehm said. "The reason this field is being named after him, just like those other gentlemen, is because he deserves it. He earned it and the City Commission recognized it unanimously."