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Ball diamond project finishes fourth in voting

By Ken Johnston

The voting is closed and Rainy River’s proposed ball diamond project was fourth when it was all said and done with 3,535 votes!
Tbaytel For Good’s program to give back to communities it serves in the region has been ongoing since the beginning of the year. Fifteen groups submitted ideas to be considered for funding.
While Rainy River joined the quest a few weeks into the campaign, it quickly picked up steam. In its first week it only had about 220 votes. A month later the project finished with 3,535 votes!
While voting only counts for 30% of the judges’ decisions on who gets funded, it is a strong indicator of how well the various communities are supporting the project.
The Rainy River Recreation Board’s Rec. Director, Kam Kuzyk, submitted a request to access Tbaytel For the Good funding to repair the town’s baseball park.
Kuzyk said this in his application:
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 fund-raising 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 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.
However there were many excellent ideas submitted for consideration. Here they are in order of voting finish:
1st-Fort Frances, New sound system for Borderland Figure Skating Club (arena) 9,244 votes.
2nd-Thunder Bay, Development of Syncronized Swimming Program, 7,018 votes.
3rd-Chapleau, Installation of Splash Pad for summer swimming fun, 4,068 votes.
4th-RR Ball Diamond repairs, 3,535 votes.
5th-Dryden, Multi-use building at soccer park, 2,182 votes.
6th-Thunder Bay, Improve Dryland Training equipment, 1,566 votes.
7th-Thunder Bay, Judo Club needs new mats, 1,234 votes.
8th-Thunder Bay, Equipment for Sailing Club, 743 votes.
9th-Thunder Bay, Equipment for LEX Soccer program, 716.
10th-Thunder Bay, Unbreakable Club to create physical wellness, 610 votes.
11th-Thunder Bay, Roller Derby for space and training, 596 votes.
12th-Thunder Bay, Shotokan Karate anti-bullying program, 169 votes.
13th-Murillo, Therapeutic Riding Program, 130 votes.
14th-Thunder Bay, Special Olympics Travel costs, 122 votes.
15th-Thunder Bay, Maintenance Equip. for curling club, 68 votes.
Judges will reveal the top six projects they will fund this Wednesday, March 19th. Of those the top project will receive $5,000 and the other five will receive $2,000 each! To read more about Rainy River’s and the other fourteen projects log onto