For over 50 years, the Lions Club has been home to youth league in Russiaville, where the organizations have continued to grow for decades.
The baseball league in Russiaville celebrated its 54th anniversary this year, and the softball league marked its 43 years. Most of the land the baseball and softball fields sit on is owned by the Lions Club, and members have worked to expand the grounds for the league ever since.
“The Lions Club just took it amongst themselves, with a couple local guys, to build those baseball and softball fields. And basically, they still own the land, but they pretty much just give everything over to us, which is huge,” said Russiaville Softball League President Adrian Hart.
The grounds consist of two baseball diamonds, two softball diamonds, and one basic T-ball field.
The baseball and softball organizations try to reciprocate the support from the Lions Club by participating in and advertising the fund raisers hosted by the club. The Lions Club’s biggest annual fund raisers include the fish fry and county fair. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both events were canceled this year, but the baseball and softball organizations still supported when they could.
“They had a Texas Roadhouse dinner. I know I not only published through our softball network, but we also published. I saw a lot of people posting it through Facebook to help support them,” Hart said.
Last year, the baseball and softball organizations began reinvesting in the ballpark. The organizations began working to upgrade and improve the concession stand and restrooms. After getting quotes and proposals together, Hart met with the Lions Club members to get approvals on the projects and said he was faced with nothing but positive feedback.
“It was kind of funny at the end because they were basically like, ‘No, you guys do whatever you want to. The land is ours, but everything on top of it is yours. You guys do whatever you want to make improvements.’ I mean, just extremely nice to work with,” Hart said.
Additionally, Hart said the community aspect of the ballpark carried over into supporting local businesses in other ways. The concession stand currently serves pizza from Fire Pizza in Russiaville during games, as well as products such as hot dogs from Waddell’s grocery store in Russiaville.
The Russiaville baseball and softball leagues will complete their seasons later this month and early next month.