Public urged to vote for ball diamond project

By Ken Johnston

The Rainy River Recreation Board is asking for the public’s help to win funding from a charity run by local communications service provicer, Thunder Bay Telelphone (tbaytel).
On Tbaytel’s website they say, “At Tbaytel, we believe in taking care of the neighbourhood, whether it’s investing in the people and organizations that make communities strong and healthy through our sponsorship program, or working to continually improve the services we offer through innovation and expansion.
However, when it comes to figuring out how to make changes that are good for the neighbourhood, we know that our neighbours know best. That’s why we’re excited to announce the first ever Tbaytel For Good program. Our goal is to highlight all of your good ideas in the hopes that together, we can make changes that will positively impact our region, whether it’s through Education, Sports and Recreation, Arts and Culture or the Environment.”
Local Recreation Director submitted an idea to the competition to see major repairs and safety concerns at the local baseball diamond addressed. As of Monday there were 224 votes for the project. As of today there are 31 days left to vote. To vote log onto
Here is Kuzyk’s submission on behalf of the RR Rec. Board:
The baseball diamond has major safety concerns that are already a problem for many of our leagues, teams, and schools that use it. The fencing has become the biggest concern. The backstop has started to get holes which could be a problem for spectators who sit behind it, especially during fastball games and tournaments. The side fencing has many broken poles which have created a hazard that could potentially scrape, cut, or even impale players on the field. The outfield fence also has the potential to severely cut or scrape players as the top and bottom of the fence have begun to curl into the field of play. The Rainy River Recreation Board would like to replace the fence around the entire baseball diamond and add a protective plastic cover to the fence-tops. This would significantly increase the safety of players and spectators and promote the use of the field.
Any amount of money that we won would go towards the total cost of the fencing which would well exceed $5000. Our priority would be to fix the side fencing first, as it is in the worst condition and is a huge safety concern at the moment. The backstop would be second in line to be replaced followed by the outfield fence. Money is being raised by a committee (lead by the Recreation Board) that is focusing on repairing the baseball diamond. The extra money needed to complete this project would come from their fundraising and sponsorships. $2000 or $5000 would be a great start and could eliminate at least one of our areas of concern.
The baseball diamond is located in the middle of Rainy River, next to the Recreation Centre and the local elementary and secondary schools. In the summer, the baseball diamond gets used by physical education classes, a youth baseball league, a mixed and women’s softball league, and a local fastball team. It is also the site of fastball and softball tournaments throughout the summer. The baseball diamond is greatly used and is a significant part of our community’s healthy lifestyle. It not only provides a life-long physical activity but it plays a large part in many people’s social life. The Rainy River Recreation Board, as well as the the Town of Rainy River, would hate to see the baseball diamond deteriorate to the point where it can no longer be used. As it stands, the diamond is playable but is an accident waiting to happen. We would like to fix our safety concerns before any players or spectators are deterred from the game of baseball.
The committee in charge of repairing the baseball diamond have a goal of repairing the entire diamond by the end of the summer in 2015. The timeline depends on fundraising efforts but the fencing portion will hopefully be done by the end of the summer in 2014.