Ann Arbor News
Six Chelsea baseball and softball fields will get a facelift next spring thanks to a $12,000 matching grant from the Detroit Tigers Foundation.
The Chelsea Recreation Council's fundraising project, For the Love of Baseball and Softball, includes plans for new backstops and netting to catch foul balls as well as safety fences, benches for players, removable pitching rubbers, infield compound and clay bricks.
"This is the first major grant for the Rec Council,'' said Jason Lindauer, Chelsea City Council liaison to the group.
Because of budget constraints, the fields have been neglected, said Jeremy Hodges, assistant recreation director, yet participation in baseball and softball programs has soared from 491 players in 2003 to 589 players registered for the upcoming season.
The Rec Council hopes to raise $70,456 before the end of the year for the project and plans phased-in improvements and a maintenance program beginning next spring.
Fittingly, the Rec Council has planned a fundraising trip to a Tigers game as it works to raise the $12,000 match before Dec. 1.
Chelsea Recreation, which is funded by participation fees, provides youth in the Chelsea School District with "quality opportunities to develop lifelong leisure skills,'' Hodges said.
More than 4,400 people have participated in its programs since its inception in 1971.
For more information about the project, go online to www.chelsearec.com.
Posted by Erin Rose at 1:03 PM