|Imperial ball association looking for ‘new blood’|
set for Tuesday night
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
The operation of the baseball and softball programs in Imperial has long relied on the support of funding outside of city tax dollars.
Many people may not know it, but the Imperial Baseball/Softball Association (IBSA) has been supplementing the ball program for at least a dozen years.
Organized in the mid 1990s, there is a current board of directors, most of whom have been serving since it organized.
Now, the board is hoping to get more people involved, namely younger parents who have children in the ball programs.
A reorganization meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m. in the city council room. Board members are hoping for a good turnout of supporters of the ball programs.
Dianne Way, one of the board members, said they want people to realize that additional funds need to be raised in the community for the baseball and softball programs beyond what the city allots.
The city budgets an amount—this year it’s $6,000—for the summer recreation program. Some of that is allocated for the soccer league, as well.
Once the city funds are exhausted, the IBSA starts writing checks for the ball program needs and expenses.
Debbie Fuehrer, treasurer of the IBSA, said the annual support varies based on the year’s needs for new equipment, uniforms and other items.
The IBSA pays for all of the city’s umpiring costs, and supplements the city’s needs for ball uniforms, T-shirts for the younger teams, some equipment and dirt for the fields.
A big expense in recent years that the IBSA paid for was construction of the new concession stand at Schroeder Park. The city provided the water, waste water and electric services there.
One of the major ways the IBSA raises funds is through the concession stands at summer ball games at the Schroeder and Campbell fields.
Workers in the concession stands generally have been parents of the ball players, but many of the board members have put in countless hours themselves to organize volunteers and work in the stands.
In addition, other fund-raisers have been organized by parents that support individual teams. Some of those have included fair window paintings, a youth baseball skills clinic and selling of advertising on a banner for the Legion baseball team.
“We are just looking for more involvement from some additional parents,” Way said.
“It’s important that people realize additional funds need to be raised to keep the ball programs alive,” she said.
Others on the current IBSA board are Cliff Church, president, and Rich Norman.
During Tuesday’s meeting, there will be a brief overview of when the IBSA was organized and how it’s evolved.
The group will also discuss the possibility of including the soccer program in the association, Way said.