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Berthold Rec in running for $10,000 grant...

Now that a six-week, matching grant program called Twice Blessed has been launched, Randy Kunz is hoping the community of Berthold rallies around him.

11/20/19 (Wed)

Now that a six-week, matching grant program called Twice Blessed has been launched, Randy Kunz is hoping the community of Berthold rallies around him.

Kunz, the president of the Berthold Park Board said the board would like to see some major renovation at the local baseball diamond, but the amount of upgrade will depend on the amount of money raised.

Regardless, whatever gets raised, Twice Blessed, a program through the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, will match up to $10,000.

Kunz was pleased to announce on the eve of the Twice Blessed campaign Thursday Farm Credit Services of North Dakota was in Berthold to present a $5,000 grant toward that match.

“So we could walk away with $20,000,” Kunz said. “The donation period started Friday and runs through Dec. 31.”

Interested parties may donate electronically, mail a check to the Berthold Park Board or give a park board member a cash donation.

The foundation kicked off the Twice Blessed program on Friday at the Grand Hotel in Minot in an effort to raise awareness of the program.

There are 42 recipients for the grants. In addition to the Berthold Park District, other area organizations include the city of Tolley, the Kenmare Food Pantry through the foundation, the Good Samaritan Society in Mohall, the Kenmare Fire Department, the Mohall Park District and the Ward County Historical Society.

“Through Twice Blessed, a mailing will go out to Berthold and Carpio telling people how to donate,” Kunz said. “Be watching for that in the next few days.”

There’s no doubt the park board’s plans are ambitious, but then Kunz believes an ambitious campaign will help the park board hit the maximum match.

“We want to take out the infield and replace it with a new, modern infield that will drain properly and be safer,” Kunz said. “We also want to put a cap on the top of the fence to keep the kids safe.”

The baseball diamond and softball field are in an area north of the school that originally had been a swamp, so drainage has always been a problem.

As far as the field itself, it held up well after a 4-inch rain on July 9, but Kunz added water had pooled in foul territory in left field, but never did creep onto the field.

He’s already received a couple of bids; one that includes totally replacing the dugouts and two, replacing the dugouts and a sun shade in the bleachers.

“We don’t have electrical or water, but our priority is the infield,” he said. “Most games are held during the day so we don’t need it right now, but electricity and water makes it easier.”

The outfield is in fairly good condition, according to Kunz, but there is no sprinkler system to keep the outfield grass green.

“Plans had been to renovate both (fields) because both are in need of repair,” he said. “So our focus is to get one in tip-top shape. As money is allotted, our focus is the baseball field and then softball.”

Little League and Babe Ruth teams use the baseball park on a regular basis and the North Shore high school baseball team practices on the field occasionally.

Kunz said there are 30 kids in the Berthold Pee Wee league, which is players in grades 3 through 6.

They don’t go out of town, but play against each other on the one field, so it is used aggressively during the summer.

Another 22 kids are in the Berthold Little League and they do welcome opposing teams to town and have entertained the likes of Stanley, Kenmare and several Minot teams.

Kunz, who played college baseball at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., is also the assistant coach of the North Shore Wildcats high school team. He grew up playing baseball and knows the game well.

He wants to see the Berthold kids get the same chance he got as a kid and that’s why he believes this matching grant is so important.

The community has been great for the recreation programs, but this is an opportunity to get Berthold a first-class facility.

Kunz said Amy Ones, the city accountant, has been great about both grant applications and facilitating them.

He also credited Sidelines Bar for making pledges in the past and its commitment to make additional donations in the future.

Now, if the rest of the community will get together, Kunz believes raising $5,000 is certainly an achievable goal.

“We’ve already been awarded a grant for up to $10,000,” he said. “And if we match up to $10,000, that’s $20,000 for the Berthold Parks and Rec Division.”

For more information on the Twice Blessed program, log on to ( ... 

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