Recreation group gets $22,000 Trillium grant for ball diamond work

Many com­munity members and volun­teers were here at the ball diamond Aug. 27 when the local recreation club received a cheque for improve­ments to the facility.

That gave Trillium rep­res­en­tative Martin Bosch, of Guelph, an opportunity to note that he is especially pleased to present cash grants to smaller communities.

“I’m really proud to see a community like this have a ball park in the countryside,” said Bosch. He was looking over two ball diamonds that were in excellent condition, with good seats, fencing, and new players’ benches.

The grant paid for extra bleachers, improvements to the players benches, a scoreboard and some extra fencing that provided protection for players at one diamond from home runs hit from the first diamond. It also paid for a concrete pad for a picnic pavillion on the prop­erty.

Bosch said he likes giving grants to smaller communities because “fundraising is not east out here like it is in Guelph.”

He also joked, “We made sure we paved the road up here [on the 2nd Line].”

MPP Ted Arnott thanked Bosch and the Trillium Fund for the grant, and noted that Trillium is at arm’s length from government and makes its own grant decisions.

“The electronic scoreboard on our main playing field is a real bonus for us,” said Pon­sonby Recreation Club presi­dent Shirley Obergan. “Spec­tators around the park can now be informed as to the status of the game at any time. It truly feels like we are part of a big city Sports complex – nice for rural Ponsonby’s very own field of dreams.”

While it may be located in the countryside with no homes or stores close by, Ponsonby is anything but minor league.

The Ponsonby Recreation Club was established in the early 1970s and been a centre for softball clubs from T-ball to junior men’s divisions. One player playing there from Bel­wood made the Canadian jun­ior men’s team a couple of years ago, and over the years, and there have been players  from there who have played on men’s and women’s national teams. The club has hosted several local and provincial tournaments.

A small army of volunteers has kept the diamond complex running, and numerous fami­lies and the Elora Legion regu­larly use it for community picnics and events.

Arnott said it is “the focus of the community.” He laughed and offered at some point in the future to “throw out the first pitch.”

Obergan said that Pat Kurtz, who could not attend that day, was instrumental in preparing the documents for the Trillium Fund application.

The Ontario Trillium Foun­dation is an agency of the On­tario government. for over 25 years, the foundation has supported communities across the province with cash grants it receives from the profits from the province’s slots and casi­nos.