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New Batting Cages a Home Run for Geneva's Baseball Team

Parent volunteers contribute time, talent and treasure to help Geneva athletes succeed.

Every so often, you see examples of people stepping up to do something good for their kids and community, just for the sake of doing something good for their kids and community.

It happens a lot in Geneva.

Here's one example, passed along by a Patch reader: batting cages.

A bunch of Geneva parents decided that the baseball team could use some new batting cages for practice. So they talked to varsity baseball coach Matt Hahn and Athletic Director Jim Kafer, got the appropriate permission, held fundraisers, bought the equipment, put it together, improved the field and just got it done.

"We felt the old batting cage was getting a little ratty looking and antiquated, and a couple of us dads got together and decided we wanted the kids to have something a little better," said Dave Weede, one of those dads.

"Al Endriukaitis—it was Al's brainchild," Weede said. "He said, 'What do you think we put in a new batting cage instead of the old one?' And I said, 'Sure absolutely, that would be great.' " 

Weede, who calls himself the organizer and cheerleader of the group, enlisted the help of Brian Touro, who said, "I'd like to get in on this," and Touro handled much of the fundraising efforts.

The old cage allowed just one pitcher and one hitter at a time. The new cage is a double set, plus an apron on each side with five stations for hitting off tees.

"Now instead of two boys getting practice, you can get 14 boys working at the same time," Weede said. "Coach Hahn could have half the team doing infield drills and the other half pitching and hitting."

The whole project would have cost $32,000. But thanks to the labor of the parents and some generous discounts from some of the contractors, the total expense was about $21,000.

Old Towne Pub made a generous donation, but most of the cost has come out of parents' pockets.  

"We're still about $4,000 shy of paying for the whole thing," Weede said. He's hoping more parents will donate, because these cages will benefit the baseball program at Geneva not only for this season but for many years to come.

"I feel it's like the turf," Weede said, referring to the synthetic-turf field that was approved recently by the Geneva School Board. "So many people can use it."

The new cages are located just west of the varsity baseball field, if you'd like to drive by and take a look.

"You can't miss it," Weede said. "It's magnificently large, and easy on the eyes."

Matt Henry March 16, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Great to see. We are blessed by these parents stepping up.

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