Future of baseball uncertain in Medora
By Hilary Hake
The Medora Athletic Association and the Medora Lions Club proudly held the CISL tournament for ages 8-10 this year and it couldn’t have come at a better time for both organizations as funds dropped to a mere $150 in the organizations’ treasury.
The MAA and the Lions Club have basically merged into one organization based on need and convenience as the president of the Lions Club is also the treasurer of the MAA and the common goal of both clubs is to keep a ballpark going for the kids.
Former MAA President Jason Medford was in charge of procuring the funds from the Shipman association but has since stepped down and the position has not yet been officially filled at this time.
“We are trying to work smarter to insure funding yearly for the park, but it is a slow painful process,” said Stephen Yurick, treasurer of the MAA and the Medora Lions Club president.
The Lions Club granted land just outside of city limits to build a ball diamond for the children in Medora when the previous ballpark had to close due to insurance issues.
Previously, the ball diamonds were located at Medora Elementary School property. Because of the trust the land is in, if the organizations do not keep an active ball park on the current site, the land will revert back to the original owners.
Annually, it costs approximately $6,000 to keep the ball diamonds maintained and running. This includes not only operating costs of maintenance but insurance and utilities as well. Approximately 50 percent of the funding comes from fundraisers both the Lions Club and the MAA hold throughout the year as well as concession stand profits. The rest comes from annual sign-up fees from players. Those fee’s basically pay for the individual insurance on the players that must be maintained.
Problems with funding have arisen as community involvement has waned over the recent years. Other ballparks in the surrounding communities that are affiliated with CISL have funding and maintenance provided by the city that the teams play for. Because the ballpark is located outside of city limits, Medora is not in a position to fund anything other than the water.
The organizations have gotten creative though, which shows just how determined and passionate they are about providing local boys and girls a place to play baseball.
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