News Park Moves Ahead

Idaho Press Tribune 8 Apr 2002 - Page 4a

Football park moves ahead

Working on sprinkler system

Centennial Job Corps' Daniel Gonzalez, 17, foreground, and Chris Johnson, 18, fit a pipe into place for an irrigation system at Optimist Park in Nampa. With the help of volunteers and contributions, organizers hope the park will be ready for Optimist Youth Football practice this summer.

Backers hope Optimist Park will be done in August

NAMPA -- A new football park in Nampa for Nampa Optimist Youth Football players is becoming a reality as volunteers make significant headway.

At Optimist Park, located behind Birch Elementary -- the Vallivue School District’s new elementary -- and near the Ridgecrest Golf Course, seven football fields will greet budding gridiron giants. Organizers hope the fields will be ready for practices this summer.

And with growing support from the community, and the helping hands of volunteers, the goal is coming closer to reality.

The park grounds have already been leveled and staked. Gravel has been laid for parking lots. And organizers hope to get to the point that the city can start watering and get grass seed going in time for practice in August.

The fields will be shared by 25 to 30 teams of kids ages seven to 12. Seven- and 8-year-olds will play flag football and 9- to 12-year-olds will play tackle football. Both boys and girls can play football.

Optimist Park fund-raiser

A fund-raiser will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Outback Steakhouse on Karcher Road in Nampa. The restaurant is normally closed for lunch. The luncheon costs $10 and includes chicken, steak, potatoes, bread and salad.

Tickets are available at the Nampa Chamber of Commerce, Pioneer Title, Brandt Agency and Re/Max of Nampa Caldwell. For more information about the new football park or the luncheon, call Kenny Wroten at 467-5797, or Ken Wilson, coach and past commissioner of the football committee, at 880-1099.

A sprinkler system and cement footings and walls for bleachers were the most recent additions to the effort, which has been spurred on by the donations of several local businesses. Ken Wilson, coach and past commissioner of the football committee, credited Eric Clark of Economy Concrete for donating time and effort to concrete work on the bleachers for the fields, as well as businesses such as Idaho Concrete Co. and American Construction Supply.

But even with the outpouring of support, Wilson and football committee spokesman Kenny Wroten added that help is still needed to complete the project.

"Progress is moving along on the football park, but we still need more sponsors," Wroten said.

Among the major projects that still needs to be completed, according to Wilson, is a 30- by 60-foot storage structure at the park.

The park’s Founders Club, which anyone can join, has a major sponsor with a donation from the Healthy Nampa Healthy Youth organization. But the club is still trying to raise money for buildings and other construction.

Businesses and individuals can sponsor a football field or local businesses can offer discounts on their services or products as part of fund-raising efforts. And parents also can volunteer to coach or raise funds. To offer your help to the effort, contact Wroten at 467-5797, or Wilson at 880-1099.

Reprinted by permission of Idaho Press Tribune

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