Community comes together to update Remsen Batting Cages

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Todd Tentinger works on marking the measurements on the newly installed turf for the batting cages. (Photo contributed)

On April 1 & 2, 2017, a group of volunteers got together to "turf" all six of the batting cages around town.

How this project came to light started with Dean Harpenau's concerns with the "high school batting cages being worn out" and that "when it rained, they (baseball/softball teams) were unable to hit for days after". The City employees and the Remsen Youth were trying to figure out the best ways to maintain the areas. Jeremy Bunkers gathered up the details needed to formulate a way to work together for a solution to these problems. Then, Bunkers went to different groups, such as the Remsen Lions Club, Remsen Oktoberfest, City of Remsen, Remsen Youth Group, and American Bank, to explain the situation and to see if there would be any interest in helping improve the facilities for the kids. Dean Harpenau and Jeremy Bunkers were overwhelmed with the response for funding but more importantly the response from the volunteers.

Bunkers stated, "We were never turned down when asking for help. We never thought the project would be as labor intensive as it was."

The batting cages by the baseball field were recently updated thanks to many volunteers and donations from the community. (Photo by Megan Sabin)

The process entailed several steps, which included, a group of volunteers to pick up semi-truck loads of rock and the turf, the City Employees to remove turf from the cage areas,

a group framing the borders of the cages, a group to haul rock to the areas and ground pound (pack), a group to roll out and lay the turf and fit to the area, and a group to spread and broom in the finish. The City Employees finished up the borders around the cages later in the week.

Bunkers commented, "It was a very rewarding project, but the most rewarding part was working alongside so many volunteers in the community to produce the end result and having fun doing it. I was amazed by the response from the community, especially the ones who had

nothing to gain other than helping."

Volunteers that took the time to help out with the project included Luke Waldschmitt, Rick Waldschmitt, Tim Miller, Craig Ahlers, Rod Waldschmitt, Jeff Pottebaum, Jeremy Homan, Lee Galles, Jeff Schorg, Jacob Loutsch, RJ Staab, Nick Staab, Andrew Pottebaum, Brady Pottebaum, Rick Delperdang, Greg Schroeder, Jason List, Monte Harpenau, Barry Galles, Scott Schwickerath, Paige List, Merritt Groh, Drew Hoffman, Wayne Behrens, Jason Harvey, Chris Frederes, Bill Ortmann, Bryan Arens, Dean Loutsch, Bart Galles, Gary Harpenau, Rod Schiltz, Rob Schorg, Mickey Koenck, Todd Tentinger, Lee Harpenau, Luke Homan, Clint Tritz, Ryan Galles, Jeremy Bunkers, Dean Harpenau, Jason Ball, Rick Loutsch, Jay Schroeder, Dusty Pick, Kevin Ortmann, and Mike Bohnenkamp.

Bunkers and Harpenau would like to thank all the volunteers listed above and give a special thank you to Randy Vaske with Chase Lumber and Trish Wurth with Remsen Hardware for getting last minute supplies, Midwest FieldTurf of Denison for the supplies and help with the project, and Remsen Youth, Remsen Oktoberfest, American Bank, Remsen Lions and other anonymous donors whose donations helped fully fund the project.

Total costs of the project exceeded $30,000, which was paid off fully with the donations.