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Jones Park Baseball ribbon cutting07/18/2011 6:35 PM ET
By Andrew Pantini / Cedar Rapids Kernels
Cedar Rapids, IA - The formal ribbon cutting ceremony for the Jones Park Baseball Project was held on Friday, July 15th. The Jones Park Baseball Park Project was begun in the fall of 2009 to provide a new youth baseball diamond, reconfigure an existing high school diamond and improve an existing little league diamond to replace baseball diamonds that were destroyed or damaged in the June 2008 Flood.
Ron Corbett, Mayor of Cedar Rapids, welcomed everyone to the ceremony as Julie Sina, Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department Director recognized the project contributors and Tom Barbee, president of the Kernels Foundation, briefly addressed the crowd. Jack Roeder, former Kernels General Manger, threw out the first pitch to Al Smith, Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame member, before the ribbon cutting took place.
The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department was awarded a grant in the amount of $75,000 from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF). The grant supports the Jones Park Baseball Project and provides funding for materials and services to complete the construction and improvements at Jones Park. The entire cost of the project, with the exception of a $25,000 in-kind contribution by the City of Cedar Rapids, was funded by grants and donations.
In addition to the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, other major project contributors include Aegon Transamerica Foundation, Kernels Foundation, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Flood Fund, Hall-Perrine Foundation, King's Material Inc., Minor League Baseball Charities, Perfect Game, Bill Quinby, and Rockwell Collins.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels, Minor League Baseball Charities, P.L.A.Y. in Linn County, Positive Sports, Perfect Game, Cedar Rapids Community Schools, Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department all cooperated in developing this project. Perfect Game is working with several flood-affected schools to provide free baseball programs targeted to 8 to 10 year olds who will play games on the diamonds. Perfect Game will provide instructors and equipment.
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches' training material and other selected program expenses. For more information, visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.
The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department provides leisure opportunities for individuals of all ages and ability levels in the Cedar Rapids area. Opportunities are provided through recreational programming and maintaining and managing park and recreational facilities for public use. Last year over 1,500 activities and programs coordinated by the Department resulted in over 300,000 independent recreational experiences. For more information, visit www.crrec.org.