After a number of years discussing and working on the idea, the Laingsburg Lions Club finally provided the funds and some of the labor to install a new basketball court with six baskets in one of their two city parks to replace the deteriorating half-court that had been there for years.
Bates Scout Park is now the center of attention for many local area youth and adults who have been seen playing “hoops” in recent days. The more than $32,000 needed for the project was derived from a variety of fundraising efforts, including the group’s annual Springtime Festival, their annual White Cane drive, their providing charity services for Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments licensed through the state, and through a donation from Modern Woodman.
Eric Schuman, the club’s 2017-2018 president, said, “I have wanted to see this come about for quite a few years. It’s happened and it does my heart so good to see individuals out playing basketball. This is a good thing the club did for the citizens and youth of Laingsburg.”
Serious planning began more than a year ago, when the Laingsburg Lions Board of Directors appointed Terry Fraidenburg and Dane Nickols to co-chairs of construction. After discussing the project with local contractors, they were off and building.
In 2016, with the approval of $3,700 by the Board, some trees in the park were removed to facilitate the new court’s size. The old half-court cement was removed in 2017 and initial grading and willing of the surface area in preparation for the new court was done.
Pro Dunk Basketball Systems was contacted, and the club purchased six baskets, backboards, and poles and their support structures, as well as mounting plates and anchor bolts/rebar. They were delivered in the fall of 2017 and stored in the club’s pole barn. The four side-court baskets are actually adjustable in height to allow for smaller children to play also.
April and May of 2018 brought the final grading and surface preparation, after which, 70 yards of new concrete was poured in an 80-by-54-foot pad. Court construction was done by Jim Coglin of Acme Construction Company (page 17), while the concrete itself was supplied by Owosso Redi Mix out of Owosso.
The Laingsburg Lions Club has truly made good on the Lions International motto of “We Serve.” Anyone interested in joining in the fun and service may attend one of the group’s regular meetings, which are held at the elementary school on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 7 p.m.