The County of Antigonish is contributing $50,000 to the costs of an accessible ballfield in the area.
Earlier this year, Antigonish Challenger Baseball received $150,000 from the Toronto Blue Jay’s Jays Care Foundation for an accessible ballfield, including a turf infield and wheelchair accessible dugouts. They also received $150,000 from the Town of Antigonish for upogrades.
During a regular meeting of council for the County of Antigonish, members voted to offer $50,000 to the cause. Warden Owen McCarron said the request for funding came in a bit late but council wanted to contribute.
McCarron said it will be a one-time contribution, adding the county is hopeful the work will begin soon.
Antigonish Challenger Baseball is very busy these days, fundraising for its goal of a fully accessible ballfield. Challenger Baseball received a big boost earlier this year with a 150-thousand dollar grant from the Toronto Blue Jays Foundation, JaysCare. Challenger Baseball Coordinator Randy Crouse says it’s applying for various grants to raise money for the 400-thousand dollar upgrade. It’s also planning a silent auction with minor baseball and minor softball in late June and July.
Crouse says a number of features will be included in the renovation.
There’s also plans for wheelchair accessible bleachers. It’s hoped the renovations will be complete in time for the 2019 season
Two local groups are in the running for a national competition to support community projects. It’s part of an annual contest called the Aviva Community Fund. It is sponsored by the insurance company Aviva Canada. Both local groups, if successful could be eligible for up to $100,000 in funding.
Antigonish Challenger Baseball, nominated in the Community Health category, is proposing to convert the facilities it uses at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School into an accessible ball field. That includes wheelchair accessible dugouts, a backstop, an outfield fence, field lighting and stands.
The Antigonish Affordable Housing Society, nominated in the Community Development category, is proposing a community room. It would be for tenants of its affordable housing project, Riverside Estates as well as the greater Antigonish community. Phase one of the development opened earlier this year. Planning for phase two is underway.
The public has until October 19th to vote for their favourite project. The finalists will be announced in December. To vote, follow this link: https://www.avivacommunityfund.org
Antigonish Challenger Baseball is currently looking for new and returning buddies for the 2017 season! Challenger Baseball is a program for children with special needs between the ages of 4 and 18. ‘Buddies’ are paired up with a partner and help out with aspects of the game.
Randy Crouse is the Coordinator for Antigonish Challenger Baseball. He says the program has had great success as it heads into the fourth year. Crouse says that the bond formed between the players and buddies is an incredibly rewarding experience:
Crouse says registration is now open for people who would like to be buddies. The numbers have been increasing from year to year, and Crouse says there is always space for more people to be involved. More information available at http://www.nschallengerbaseball.com