Handshakes and baseball clichés ran thick Monday as Butte-Silver Bow announced that major donations will cover nearly half the costs of a planned $2.3 million American Legion youth baseball facility at Copper Mountain Park in Butte.
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Montana Resources are donating $1 million to the project and NorthWestern Energy is contributing $50,000 – half in cash and half through in-kind labor to install lighting and base assembly for the field.
The project, including a reconfigured baseball field, elevated grand stands, an entrance plaza and expanded parking lot, is slated for completion in August 2016 – about 17 months from now.
“It’s going to be the start of a whole new ballgame,” Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Matt Vincent told about 30 people during an announcement at the Butte Archives.
He and Parks Director E. Jay Ellington worked with Legion officials to plan the project and present it to the Washington Foundation, Montana Resources and NorthWestern Energy. Executives with all three entities said they were impressed with the plans, lined-up commitments and sure benefits to young ball players and the entire city.
“For us it’s really not about the money, although it’s certainly a catalyst to do some things that we think are important,” said Mike Halligan, president of the Washington Foundation.
“But what is far more important is the long-term community engagement that happens as the result of parents being with their kids, businesses being together in a community and being able to help a project that we hope will last a long, long time.”