A bit more funding needed to fix baseball field

  • Flooding caused by the ice jam damaged this fence along the third base line of Chuck Stone Little League’s James H. Salevan Field in Athol. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

Recorder Staff
Saturday, February 10, 2018

ATHOL — Since mid-January, officials from the Chuck Stone Little League have raised just shy of $7,000 to repair the league’s baseball diamond on Pequoig Avenue — but they need a little bit more to fix everything by opening day in April.

“Our field flooded during the big ice jam and we were left with a whole bunch of repairs to make,” league president Gail Allen said Tuesday, by way of asking the Selectboard to allow a helmet fundraising drive this spring.

Proceeds will be used to repair and upkeep the James H. Salevan Field, where local kids have played baseball for more than six decades, according to a statement from the league posted online.

When the water receded from the field, a subsequent inspection found that much of the infield’s dirt and clay had been washed away, large sinkholes had opened up in the outfield, and a concession stand had been completely flooded.

Community support has been strong, and 50 individual donations have raised about $500 short of a $7,500 fundraising goal hosted online at YouCaring.

Elsewhere, local tattoo artist Nathan Euvrard of UV’s Tattoo auctioned off a tattoo for $1,650, volunteered to match another $1,200, and became a yearly sign and team sponsor, according to the league.

“I typically charge $800 for a guaranteed five-hour day. This will be much more time than that. Plus, you get to skip a year long wait list,” Euvrard advertised on his Facebook page.

Others helped in different ways. Bert Mailloux plowed over a large snow bank and removed the field’s ride-on lawn tractor, “delivering it to Randy Sawin, so that he can see if he can bring our ‘Little Green Monster’ back to life after the recent unexpected swimming lesson that he took,” the league said.

Following Allen’s proposal on Tuesday, the Selectboard unanimously gave the go-ahead for the league to hold a helmet fundraiser in the center of town April 7, with a condition that “there will be no one under the age of 18,” board Chairman Lee Chauvette said.

Looking ahead, Candy Car Bingo will be held Feb. 24 ($5 per person, $20 family cap, proceeds support the league), the league’s annual Meat Raffle will happen March 23, a field cleanup day has been scheduled April 9, and opening day is set for April 28.

For those who would like to donate, gifts can be made online at www.youcaring.com/chuckstonelittleleagueofathol-1067827.