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Chestermere to unveil Jays Care Foundation Field

After more than a year of planning and construction, the Jays Care Foundation Field at the Chestermere Lake Middle School is set to officially open Aug. 2.
It’s going to be a much different look for this field at Chestermere Lake Middle School when the city officially unveils its Jays Care Foundation Field to the public on
It’s going to be a much different look for this field at Chestermere Lake Middle School when the city officially unveils its Jays Care Foundation Field to the public on Aug. 2.

After more than a year of planning and construction, the Jays Care Foundation Field at the Chestermere Lake Middle School is set to officially open Aug. 2.

The unveiling of the newly refurbished baseball field ushers in a new era not only for the Chestermere Crushers little league baseball teams, but for the entire community.

“It’s another area where kids now have a chance to come out, play and be active,” said City of Chestermere Fund Development Co-ordinator Jon Wong. “Chestermere prides itself in being Alberta’s recreation oasis.

“Now, having another baseball field that allows a community to utilize and get out and be active is fantastic for the city.”

The City of Chestermere applied for a grant from the Foundation’s Field of Dreams investment in 2015 and officially received a $150,000 donation July 27, 2015.

“(The Jays Care Foundation) believed in our community and the growth of the sport,” Wong said. “It’s great to have the Jays Care Foundation jump on board with us.

“We were very fortunate the Jays Care Foundation Selection Committee deemed our project worthy enough.”

The project plan included the refurbishing of the baseball diamond at Chestermere Lake Middle School.

“The field wasn’t in playable condition. It wasn’t safe for the kids to use,” Wong said.

Issues addressed in the refurbishment process included the shale infield being excavated four to six inches deep and being refilled with new shale, re-sodding of the entire outfield, fence lines running along the first and third baselines and a completely new backstop behind home plate.

In the years leading up to Chestermere receiving its donation, the Crushers reached out to the Chestermere/Conrich Recreation Board, the Chestermere Outdoor Recreation Association and local groups – such as the Chestermere Lions Club – to see if it could raise enough money to repair the diamond.

The City built a second field at Our Lady of Wisdom School with the money raised.

“It’s fantastic with the support from the Jays Care Foundation not only are they helping with one diamond, but now two,” Wong said.

According to Wong, the refurbishing construction began in August 2015 and came in on budget and on time – a big accomplishment considering the rain the city battled the past year.

Wong added the field is one of the first fields to be funded by the Jays Care Foundation in Western Canada, with most of the Field of Dreams projects being built in Ontario and the Maritimes.

Chestermere will officially celebrate the unveiling of the new field Aug. 2 (after press time), where members of City council and executive director of the Jays Care Foundation, Robert Witchel, will be on hand to speak. The celebration begins at 3 p.m. and will conclude approximately at 5 p.m.

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