Accessible ball field in Antigonish coming closer to construction
Considering they started with zero dollars on the first of April, the fact the group behind the accessible ball field project in Antigonish has closed to within $98,000 of its $475,000 goal, as of Sept. 26, is quite remarkable.
“We’re very pleased,” Randy Crouse, co-ordinator of Antigonish Challenger Baseball as well as the provincial and national bodies of the sport, said. “Our goal is $475,000 and we’re at $377,000.
“We’re hoping, this fall, we’ll put out the tender and then figure out a schedule to build — weather dependent. The ideal goal is, still, to have it ready for next summer. Obviously, we’re optimistic but we’re very excited we’re so close to our goal.”
Crouse noted the $475,000 goal includes some money for contingency purposes, in case there is an unforeseen problem.
“Money available so we’re not stopping [the work],” he said.
To close the gap further, the group has put together a ‘donation request package’ which they’re about to distribute to businesses and organizations in the community. The package outlines different levels of support and how those contributions can be recognized at the ball field, which is beside Central Sport Field and Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional School, in terms of sponsorship signage.
The wide-range of levels include the naming rights for the whole field right down to a business or person being included on a list posted at the field.
“We’re trying to incorporate everyone in the community who would like to help us out; a $100 contribution all the way to the top end naming rights for the whole field,” Crouse said.
“We know Antigonish folks are fantastic for helping the community and we also know that they’re asked a lot to do so,” he added. “So we’re doing our best to say, this is what we can offer you as a thank you for your donation.”
He noted while the emphasis of the field will be its accessibility aspects, it will be a community facility to be used by all.
“A community field, not just Challenger Baseball but minor baseball, minor softball, the schools will be using it, people playing whiffle ball down there, throwing the football around; we’re hoping the whole community gets use out of it,” Crouse said.
The project received a big shot in the arm recently with the Antigonish Town and County Recreation Association presenting organizers with a check for a little more than $68,000.
“This represents the remaining funds raised by the field project and we couldn’t be happier to see it help Challenger Baseball reach their goal,” Scott Mackinnon, president of the association, said.
“Randy and all the volunteers have done an amazing job of putting Challenger Baseball on the local, provincial and national stage, and we hope this contribution allows them to reach more children and help more families.”
The accessible ball field project is a combined effort by Antigonish Challenger Baseball, Antigonish Baseball Association, Antigonish Minor Softball Association and the Town of Antigonish recreation department.
For more information on the project and/or to provide a donation, contact Crouse at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 902-867-6218 (home) or 902-318-0707 (cell).