Ball groups forming joint nonprofit committee for diamond upgrades

HUMBOLDT — Three major user groups of Humboldt’s ball diamonds are getting together to raise money for long-needed improvements.

Humboldt Minor Baseball, Humboldt Girls’ Softball and Humboldt Slo-pitch are forming a joint nonprofit committee that will be in charge of holding fundraisers and applying for grants for ball diamond upgrades.

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They will hold a meeting March 21 to elect a board for the new organization, which has yet to be named.

“This is something we’ve needed in Humboldt for many years,” said Megan MacInnis with the slo-pitch league.

MacInnis said her league and the other organziations are facing issues securing diamonds within the city.

“We're also utilizing the diamonds in Muenster because we don't have enough here for us.”

Trent Ries, who’s with Girls’ Softball, said the joint nonprofit committee is the next logical step for the three organizations after waiting for around seven years for the city to finish work on the diamonds at Centennial Park. The city has been focusing on improving drainage at the park over the last year.

“We were kind of waiting for the city’s idea to kind of pan out and that kind of got tabled just with a lack of funds,” he said. “We just had to go a different route.”

Ries said he’d like to see really good, attractive-looking ball diamonds that are a draw for sporting events like provincials, westerns and Summer Games.

Other items on the wishlist could include concessions, washrooms, lights and bleachers.

“I believe the committee will meet with each organization and hopefully develop a list of needs for our facilities,” said Paul Strueby with Minor Baseball. “From there, they will begin to work with the city, fundraise money and begin to cross needs off of the list.”

Michael Ulriksen, the City of Humboldt’s leisure services director, said the city and the non-profit committee would have to sit down and determine what kind of upgrades they’d like to see. He said the city does have an idea how much some components would cost due to past upgrades but there’s no estimates at the moment on how much would need to be raised.

“We'll start to dig into a little bit more to set some goals for fundraising,” he said.

Ulriksen said the three ball organizations have been talking about organizing a nonprofit committee for two years and it’s now they are ready to move forward.

“I think it’s important to recognize that three volunteer organizations want to work together,” he said. “The fact that they are getting together will give them a much larger voice when it comes to getting fundraising, applying for grants. It’s a big step, I think.”

He added that the nonprofit would be more favorably viewed than the city when it comes to applying for grants.

The leisure services director said the city has been helping the ball organizations get the nonprofit committee going, but it won’t be a city committee, nor will the city be involved in any of the fundraising.

MacInnis encouraged anybody interested in working with the nonprofit committee or running for a position on its board to attend the March 21 meeting, which will be at meeting room 3 at the Uniplex at 7 pm.

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