Supper, band concert to raise funds for Rippey ball field

Summer is coming to Rippey on Saturday evening, June 24.

A summer picnic will be served in the Rippey Community Building hosted by the family of the late Velda DeMoss. Her children and grandchildren and even some greats- are providing sandwiches, bars, chips, and beverages for a free will donation.

The meal begins at 6 pm and will be served until the Town and Country Band of Churdan begins playing an outdoor concert at 7 pm. Individuals are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs for the event. In case of rain the concert will be performed in the Community Room.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards the refurbishing of the grandstand at the Rippey baseball park.

Local contractor John Mc Connell estimates the repairs and painting to cost about $3,000. As he evaluated the structure, believed to have been built in 1940, he said it was in surprisingly sturdy shape. A tin roof on the building has kept deterioration from water decay at a minimum. As part of his assessment McConnell got on the roof and jumped up and down. He indicated the grandstand barely moved.

Lester Zanotti, Rippey High School alum and former baseball player for the Rippey Bulldogs, University of Iowa, and the Rippey Demons, has donated $1,000 toward the project. Zanotti, who now resides in Omaha, has fond memories of playing ball on the newly named Walt Anderson Field. His older brother Artage remembers helping to build the field back in 1938.

Greene County Schools, which rents the park from the city of Rippey, has recently re-activated the score board. It is being used for the Greene County middle school games, showing the inning, balls, and strikes, as well as the score.

The ball park restroom facilities are also being upgraded through the efforts of the Friends of Rippey, with the assistance of the Greene County Community Foundation grant. Funds were awarded to the Friends of Rippey in March for new sinks, and toilets. They will replace plumbing that was originally installed in 1959.

Once the boards have been added to strengthen the structure, the Greene County football team has been asked to re-paint the grandstand in the same dark green color. The paint will be purchased by the Friends of Rippey.

It is an optimistic plan the grandstand and the bathroom upgrades will be completed by July 15, as that is the evening of the Rippey/East Greene alums Odd versus Even baseball game. Ron Ridnour of EG class of ‘63 will coach the Odd Balls, and David Hick, alum of EG will coach the Even Hands. More information about the game will be available at a later date.

Friends of Rippey leader Mary Weaver has established an ambitious goal of raising $1,000 during the evening of the meal and the Town and Country Band concert. The Friends of Rippey will seek additional donations from Rippey and East Greene alums and other friends to reach the necessary $3,000 needed for the remodeling.

Donations can be sent to: Friends of Rippey, PO Box 52, Rippey, IA 50235.

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