Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 26, 2014

Little League receives land donation

By DONNA SCHILL CLEVELAND, Ledger staff writer | Jan 14, 2013
Photo by: DONNA SCHILL CLEVELAND/Ledger photo Fairfield Little League board member Mark Myers, right, discusses expansion and improvements at the Little League complex with, Fairfield Public Works Department Superintendent Darrel Bisgard, left, and Fairfield City Administrator Kevin Flanagan. The organization will have more room to carry out its plans following a land donation from Maharishi University of Management.

The Fairfield Little League will have more room for expansion and improvements in the upcoming season thanks to a land donation from Maharishi University of Management to the city.

The parcel of land, assessed roughly at $18,000, is adjacent to the baseball diamond on the southeast side of Fairfield along Glasgow Road. Little League board member Mark Myers said the site will be perfect for new batting cages and a bullpen for pitchers to practice in.

Myers, who coaches his 4-year-old son’s T-ball team, Fairfield Tire, is on a mission to expand and renovate the ballpark he played in as a child. During this year’s sponsorship drive, he has helped establish an extra $25 donation option for Operation Facelift, to help fund the new batting cages as well as the repainting and re-shingling of the dugouts.

“I want to give the kids a good facility they can be proud of,” Myers said.

Myers spoke about the land with Mayor Ed Malloy, who is an M.U.M. trustee and former Little League board member, and Malloy made the introduction.

“M.U.M. wasn’t using it,” said Malloy. “Their options were to sell the land and take that in as part of their endowment, but when Mark made the presentation about the value of the expansion of Little League, they were willing to make the donation.”

Myers said he first contacted M.U.M. board member Dave Streid in November, and was surprised how quickly the university approved the donation.

“We are very happy with what M.U.M. has done for us, and how quickly they made the decision,” said Myers. “… My gut feeling is that they saw an opportunity to give something to the youth of our community that will hopefully outlast all of us.”

The league also received a donation from Norm Gegner, who owns the Sunset Roller Rink and Putt-Putt Golf property. Gegner donated cages and machines to Fairfield and Libertyville Little Leagues.

Thanks to these donations, Myers now believes the Little League can build cages, a storage shed nearby and steps into the slope between the fields and the new lot this summer.

“If it wasn’t for him [Gegner] and the folks at M.U.M., none of this would be possible,” said Myers.

The new land also will help the league solve long-term drainage issues on some of the fields. Since it’s a low-lying area, Myers said it will be natural runoff area for excess rainwater.

“We will be able to run the water away from the fields and into the large ditch area on the eastern edge of the new lot,” he said.

The Fairfield Little League board will be putting in many volunteer hours this spring as well as recruiting help from the community, said Myers. Any business or individual interested in making a donation or volunteering to help with construction is encouraged to contact Myers at 919-3653.

“The folks on the Little League board are very excited about this,” he said. “We have great ideas for how to accomplish our goals and are not afraid to jump right in.”

Malloy said he’s pleased to see M.U.M. donate the land to the city.

“It’s great to see the Little League continue to grow,” he said.

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