Minnesota Twins grant money to Western Christian High School for field renovation

Posted June 19, 2014 at 8:31 pm

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Jordan Harmelink | Sports Editor

HULL—Western Christian received a $5,000 matching grant from the Minnesota Twins that will enable the school to renovate the baseball and softball fields through the Twins Fields for Kids program.

Efforts began at the end of the last summer, just a few months before director of development and promotions, Wes Fopma, started his duties on July 1.

“When I started here the field was in pretty bad shape, especially after the summer when the season was over,” Fopma said. “I was aware that the Twins made grants under their foundation and actually applied for a grant with them last year in the fall, but we didn’t receive it. They encouraged me to re-apply in the spring and I did and this time we were awarded it.”

Fopma explained what applying for said grant looked like:

“Basically you work through an application online and they ask for what the project is, what you’re looking to do, they want pictures of what you’re planning on doing, supply them with estimates and what the whole cost of the project was going to be and what other fundraising activities we were going to do to pay for the project,” Fopma said.

In addition to the grant from the Twins, Western Christian received a matching grant from Modern Woodmen through one of the tailgate suppers at a football game designated to help fundraise the project.

Following the conclusion of the summer baseball and softball season, work on the right field fence on the baseball field, along with developing warning tracks in the outfield and around the entire infield will take place.

“We want to raise the height of the backstop and the fencing along the right field line because most of the time there is a baseball and softball game going on at the same time and there are usually a lot of people standing in the area between the two fields,” Fopma said. “We’re not so much worried about foul balls or anything like that, but it’s the overthrows that come screaming into that area there and that have always been a concern.”

After the renovations are completed, Fopma feels pretty good about the baseball and softball fields, especially with the booster club recently providing a new sound system for both fields.

“The lights we feel good with right now and there is a concern going forward if there are water restrictions again,” Fopma said. “We’re looking at possibly addressing that with a well or something like that but overall, we’re pretty excited to make these changes.”