Community rallies to create field for Kingston Youth Sports

Community rallies to create field for Kingston Youth Sports

KINGSTON — Kingston residents are known to pull together to create a miracle (think Village Green Community Center).

So when the board members of the Kingston Youth Sports Association discovered they were no longer able to use their regular baseball field for the season — nearly two weeks after registration opened up for more than 70 young athletes — the community quickly jumped to their aid.

Including the donation of a new field.

“We’re going to have a season,” Tara Donaldson, KYSA fundraising coordinator, said. “Whether we have to play all our games on the road or our field is in good-enough condition for games, we will have a season.”

Season hopes were restored when Ed Carriere, the well-known Suquamish artist who lives in Indianola, offered a field he owns to the association for $1 a year for 25 years, with an option for more.

The vacant field, formerly leased to the county, was the original community baseball field in the 1990s.

“They want nothing more than to see kids playing on that field again,” Donaldson said.

“They’re willing to clear out whole trees if needed to make more parking. They’re willing to do whatever it takes for us to use it. Ed’s ensuring that kids have a field to play on for as long as he can give it to us. It’s incredible.”

The KYSA board voted on Feb. 2 to move forward with the new field and are now in full swing preparing the field for play. But with baseball season starting the third week in March, KYSA needs some help getting the field ready.

Donaldson approached the community.

“I got on the phone and starting talking to people about what we needed,” she said. “Just right there in an hour of phone calls, we had well over $5,000 in donations of time and material, and that was a great feeling.”

Businesses that have committed to help prepare the field with donations of materials and services:

nDukes Construction, 10 yards of delivered gravel.

nGene’s Down to Earth Landscaping, field maintenance.

nKitsap Credit Union, $200 for the batter’s box template.

nLogan Development, labor and equipment to help prepare the infield.

nNorthwest Asphalt, slurry coating and painting lines for the potential new parking lot.

nViking Fence, extension of the original fence by 30 feet and netting for the backstop.

nWest Sound Plumbing and Agate Pass Electrical, concession stand and bathrooms.

Anonymous donations have also been received.

Though Donaldson is very grateful, she said as a Kingston resident, she’s not surprised.

“To be honest, I’m from Kingston, and this is what we do,” she said. “And that’s just the list of people who have donated. There’s a whole other list of people who have said, ‘Just let us know what you need.’ ”

Donaldson said KYSA still needs roughly $5,000 for items for the field. So, they’re inviting the community to attend a fundraising comedy show, featuring comedian Susan Price. Evening performances are scheduled for March 10 and 11 at White Horse Golf Course. Tickets are $25 pre-sale or $30 at the door.

Those attending in groups can purchase a table for eight for $180. Tickets can be purchased with cash or check at Salon Sorellina in Kingston, or KingstonYouthSports.com or kysacomedynight.brownpapertickets.com.

(Donations to help KYSA can also be made at its GoFundMe page: bring- kysa-sports-field-to-life.com.)

They’ve also created a volunteer work party to begin work on the field from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 4 and 5.

To the KYSA, the field is a field of dreams. There’s room for two baseball fields, which can be converted into a football field during that season. KYSA hopes to eventually add a soccer program as well.

“There’s a lot of work we to be done, and it’s happening fast,” Donaldson said. “This is a big project and there’s still so much work to do. But anything will help us significantly. Even just coming to the comedy show.”

Donaldson is confident KYSA will have a baseball season. They’ve come too far and “nothing is going to slow us down,” she said.

— Sophie Bonomi is a reporter for the Kitsap Daily News. Contact her at sbonomi@soundpublishing.com.

Ed Carriere stands in his home with his hand carved baseball bat and ball from the first game played on the baseball field in 1991. (Ed Carriere / Contributed)

Ed Carriere stands in his home with his hand carved baseball bat and ball from the first game played on the baseball field in 1991. (Ed Carriere / Contributed)

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