Volunteers sod four baseball fields in 30 hours

by Dennis Dalman

When Gordy Meyer told the Sartell City Council many times that volunteerism would be a huge part of developing Pinecone Central Park, he wasn’t kidding.
In just a few days of work (30 hours all told), 120 volunteers sodded the four new youth baseball fields in the park. Altogether, they rolled out 12,000 rolls of sod, enough to fill 12 semitrucks.
The work began Friday and lasted into Monday. The volunteers ranged in age from 8 to people in their 60s. Most of the people heard about the project through emails or from personal relationships of the many people belonging to the Pinecone Central Park Association, whose president, Gordy Meyer, was one of the volunteers.
Some worked a few hours, others worked full-time through the 30-hour project.
“The support was tremendous and exceeded our expectations,” Meyer said. “We want to give a big thank you to the community.”
The quality mineral sod (as opposed to peat sod) came from a sod company in Forest Lake. By next early summer, the sod will be tough enough for baseball games to begin. The other six fields at Pinecone Central Park were seeded this summer and will be ready for play in 2014. Those fields are multi-purpose fields that can be used for soccer, lacrosse, football and other games.
The sodding project is just the latest example of how Pinecone Central Park, which used to be the Sartell Golf Course, is being developed through a public-private partnership. The city bought the park land four years ago. So far, the Pinecone Park Association has raised $1.3 million for Phase I park development projects. In the last three years, Sartell has spent $200,000 on the park development, mainly for an east-west road through it and a parking lot. Recently, the city authorized more funds, $795,000, for more park developments. The city’s contributions are dependent upon the association’s promises to raise enough private money. Those contributions continue to come in. For instance, the Minnesota Twins gave $5,000 to install dugouts at the baseball diamonds. Meyer said the association is hoping to raise another $150,000 for the rest of Phase I completions by April 2013. Association members have been raising money, grants in in-kind donations for the past three years.

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Scholarship for seniors set

Biodiesel: The Fuel That Pays For School
All Minnesota high school seniors eligible for essay contest scholarship

Less than 1,000 words can earn $1,000 for college-bound students in Minnesota, thanks to a scholarship announced at the annual Education Minnesota Professional Conference in St. Paul. The Clean Air Choice™ Biodiesel Scholarship is open to any Minnesota high school senior and offers a $1,000 first-place and $500 second-place award to the winners of an essay contest about biodiesel, a cleaner-burning alternative fuel produced and used in Minnesota. Rules and an online entry form can be found at www.cleanairchoice.org. The scholarship is administered by the American Lung Association in Minnesota, which recognizes biodiesel as a “clean-air choice” fuel that reduces emissions. The scholarship is sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

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Boys, Girls Club needs help

The Boys and Girls Club can always use volunteers at any of their 16 sites. Whether you’re interested in playing basketball with teens, reading to a child or doing paperwork in the administrative office, they can use you! Just go online and fill out a Volunteer Application Form. Contact Boys and Girls Club at (320) 252-7616 or visit www.bgcmn.org.

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Manor seeks sewing projects helper

Country Manor Care Center is looking for a volunteer to assist residents with special sewing projects (i.e. basic quilts, blankets, and more). Volunteers will meet with assigned residents on a regular basis to assist them in running the sewing machine. They have a sewing machine available for your use, along with donated material, thread, buttons and other accessories. Volunteer must have basic sewing and mending skills and experience, have knowledge of and be able to operate a standard sewing machine, be dependable and able to volunteer once a week for a 1- to 3-hour shift. Contact Jacquie Hartman, Country Manor Care Center, at (320) 253-1920.

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Girl Scouts take action

Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines is proud to offer Girl Scouts in ACTION (Agents of Change To Improve Our Neighborhoods). This six-session after-school series brings girls on the Girl Scout journey “It’s Your Planet, Love It” that culminates with a related Take Action event/project. Volunteer group facilitators and assistant group facilitators are needed to infuse fun into the prepared curriculum, working directly with girls in grades 2-5. Contact Leah Voss, Girl Scouts volunteer specialist at lvoss@gslakesandpines.org.

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United Way transitions to community-impact funding

Competitive grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations serving the United Way of Central Minnesota service area for funding in 2013-2015. Funding will be awarded within the five aspirations community volunteers, service providers, subject experts and business leaders have established. A complete listing of the aspirations, outcomes and expectations can be found at www.unitedwayhelps.org.
An application will be due Nov. 16. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Town Crier.

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