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Nathan Shapell Memorial Stadium

The Board of Education on Tuesday officially named the district stadium at Yorba Linda High School as the Nathan Shapell Memorial Stadium.  School Board members recounted the support of the community as well as the generosity of Mr. Shapell for their contributions in making Yorba Linda High School a reality.

Mr. Shapell was a man of great compassion and integrity and cared deeply about our community. He met many times with school district officials and was well aware of the school district’s limited budget and the fact that this land would be used to help students build a better future.  His generosity in the final years of his life was instrumental in the school district’s acquisition of the land for Yorba Linda High School and included the gifting of $13.5 million which made possible the construction of a fully-complete high school facility.

Born in Poland, Nathan Shapell spent World War II as a prisoner in the infamous Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps where most of his family members were executed. As a survivor of the Holocaust, he was determined to not only rebuild his own life but to help others rebuild theirs.

After the war, he devoted himself to building housing complexes for displaced war survivors in Germany.  In 1952, he immigrated to the Unites States and, as Chairman of Shapell Industries, earned recognition as an industry leader.  His philosophy was based upon the high priority he placed on family, community and home, and he dedicated a major portion of his life to public service.  His contributions included:

  • Co-founding Building a Better Los Angeles, which raised over $1 million to help homeless children and families;
  • Serving as President of D.A.R.E., an anti-drug education program for schoolchildren;
  • Participation for 29 years on California’s Little Hoover Commission where he helped improve the lives of nursing home elderly and disadvantaged; and
  • Appointment by President Ronald Reagan to the Grace Commission, a private sector survey on cost control, which saved taxpayers billions of dollars.

The stadium is now under construction and completion is scheduled for April 2011.  This will be the school district’s second stadium and, as with Bradford Stadium, will feature:  home and visitor seating, concession stands, restrooms, team rooms, artificial turf and synthetic track.

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