Pella Chronicle

June 25, 2012

Pella excited about the Pella Sports Park


Pella Chronicle

Pella — Fueled with a recent burst of energy and excitement, the Pella Sports Park has focused on four “Pillars of Progress”: 1) places for our youth to play, 2) community involvement, 3) safety and accessibility, and 4) economic vitality.  The recent enthusiasm about the project has been contagious.  The Kyle Korver Foundation hosted an event selling their SEERs themed shirts during Tulip Time that generated over $80,000 for the Pella Sports Park in Honor of Blake Van Vark, and Marion County Bank has announced a pledge of $100,000.  Combined with commitments from the Keystone Contributors, the City, Pella Rolscreen Foundation, the Peter H. and E. Lucille Gaass Kuyper Foundation and the Vermeer Charitable Foundation among others, over $6.3 million dollars of the $8.5 million dollars in funding has already been raised for the Pella Sports Park.

The planned fundraising covers the acquisition and development of the land, along with the building of 6 youth baseball/softball fields, 1 Babe Ruth field, and 5 multipurpose fields that can be used for soccer or football, among other things. A main concession stand, batting cages, a playground area, picnic areas, and centralized parking will also be included in the project. Additionally, there is an endowment for smaller upgrades.  The 105 acres permits and  longer term growth, including room for additional ball fields, multi-purpose fields, or other amenities through future fundraising or city-financed projects.

“We are overwhelmed by the community support, said Rob Bradley,  Fields for Our Future, Inc.  Board Member.  “Marion County Bank has a long history of supporting the community and has stepped up in a big way with way  with their donation along with very attractive financing options for the project.  Their leadership will be important in making this a reality for the community.”  

Under Klayton and Laine Korver’s leadership, Tulip Time included an electrifying event, complete with live music and live models, generating an abundance of community spirit in support of both the Van Varks and the exciting new sports park. Thousands continue to wear the Seers shirts to show support,

“Some wise people have always told us that if you can give a little, give a little. If you can give a lot, give a lot. So for a lot of us, buying a shirt is how we can give our little. Others have a lot, and it's really cool when they give that lot. What an incredible, humbling weekend. Our goal was to honor a friend, raise money, and hopefully inspire like Blake inspired us. It looks like its working. Sport has been a big blessing to our family, and who knows how many more athletes will pay for education and go onto grand things because they got to compete at the new park.”  Klayton Korver

“It was an honor for Fields for Our Future to be part of Korver/Seers event.  The Pella Sports Park is not about just the fields and buildings, but rather about helping the youth of Pella accomplish what the Korvers, the Van Varks and the Seers/Tulip Time events represent.   It’s about community, friends, families and developing young servant leaders like Klayton, Kyle, Kaleb and Kirk,” said Bill DeMeulenaere, Fields for Our Future, Inc. Board Member.

“ We thanked the Korvers not only for the wonderful donation to the park, but for allowing us to share the weekend with them.”

Fundraising continues, including a door to door campaign this summer.  www.pellasportspark.org is available for those interested in donating getting involved or learning more.  The purchase of the land will occur in 2012 with grading and construction starting in the fall of 2012 or 2013, culminating in games being played in the 2014-2015 timeframe.  

“This is a wonderful community and it is very exciting to see the community rally behind this project that will strengthen and unite our community,”   said Sam Van Maanen, Fields for Our Future, Inc. Board member.