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Safety is a top priority for the Deer Lakes Youth Baseball Association, and a matching “Fields for Kids” grant from the Pirates Charities will help make the mission a success.
The Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, announced Wednesday that the association will receive grant money to improve fencing on one of its fields at the Bairdford Park complex in West Deer Township.
“Pirates always do a great job of providing field improvement grants every year,” said Deer Lakes Youth Baseball Association president Jay Fraser.
“We are grateful to receive this money to help with an important project we have.”
The project will see approximately 70 feet of fencing down both baselines on one of the fields (B5) raised from four feet to eight feet. Fraser said parts of the backstop will be repaired or replaced, gates that go into dugouts will be added and a street in the left field will be repaired.
The Deer Lakes Association, Fraser said, will pay $ 5,500 to match what comes from the Pirates to cover the total cost of the work done by Gibsonia-based Ford Fencing.
Fraser said Ford Fencing hopes to start work, weather permitting, in the third week of February and finish it in the second week of March.
“We had raised all the similar fences on our other fields, and this was the last one,” Fraser said.
“The pirates were generous in helping us replace that fence. We are happy about that. ”
Fraser said Deer Lakes submitted an application with the project proposal, including costs, to the Pirates Charities.
The specific field work that will be assisted by the Pirates Charities grant is part of a larger $ 35,000 project to refurbish the fields on the complex ahead of the season opener on April 24.
Fraser said the Bairdford complex also recently received a boost from work done by West Deer Township to repair a wall behind the backstop and improve drainage on the B1 field.
In total, Pirates Charities, in partnership with the Pittsburgh-based Tull Family Foundation, distributed matching grants to nine organizations that run youth baseball and softball programs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
“One of our top priorities with the Fields for Kids program is to provide young people in the Pittsburgh area with a safe and up-to-date environment for playing baseball and softball,” said Pirates spokesman Terry Rodgers.
“The Match Scholarship for the Deer Lakes Youth Baseball Association is a perfect example of the type of projects we help fund throughout society. We learned about the project when we received the grant, and we are proud to support the Deer Lakes community. ”
The Field For Kids grant, Pirates Charities emphasizes, can be used in a variety of ways, including upgrading sods, play surfaces, dugouts and irrigation systems.
Upgrades to an overall facility, including lights, bleaches, scoreboards, licensing stands and accessibility improvements, are also eligible.
Four of the nine organizations that receive matching grants are from Pennsylvania, including the Oakdale Youth League in Allegheny County.
Since its inception in 2009, the Fields for Kids program has presented 373 grants to organizations in the Pittsburgh region.
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