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By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY — The Glen Hills Lions Club has high hopes for the 2020 softball field, with their biggest tournament taking place during Rustic Lore, as they will be installing a new scoreboard and sign with the new name of the field.
“Over the years we have continued to wrap our arms around the field,” said Lions Club President, Lane Berenschot. “We have taken the initiative to do many updates to the field and concession stand, but we feel having the field renamed will give the Glen Hills Lions further purpose to do even more.”
The re-naming of the field will also help to promote the Lions Club good works, while continuing to highlight and recognize the local businessmen who the field previously recognized, added Berenschot.
The re-naming will help promote the club as well and hopefully encourage new members and more involvement so they can continue to help and do good throughout the community.
Glen Hills Memorial field was originally located on the St. Croix County Fairgrounds near the current Glenwood City city shop and it was dedicated on September 11, 1977, with a sign placed honoring Holger Nielson, Harris Lauber, and George Obermueller.
The Lions are planning to continue with an “in memory” sign at the field and may repaint or completely replace the sign so it has a fresh look and is more visible. This would also allow them to add more names in the future if warranted.
“Glen Hills Lions Club is a community organization, and we honor our past community leaders and we intend to preserve the memory of the people that created this wonderful ball field,” Todd Hagen, club treasurer, said.
The Lions Club spends between 15 and 20 days each year at the field, with their main fundraiser being the softball tournament during Rustic Lore.
They also work many nights to maintain and improve the field and have occasional monthly meetings at the field, and it is used regularly during the summer by the recreation program.
“The tournament dates back easily over 30 years during Rustic Lore when it was located at the fairgrounds behind the existing recycling center,” explained Berenschot.
The main goal for the Lions Club is “community first” as they have donated to Westcap’s Operation Backpack, the Glenwood City Bike Safety Program, scholarships for graduating seniors, the ambulance service, local families in need, and Camp Needle Point for children with diabetes.
They also support the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt, WI which includes a camp for children or adults who are blind or visually impaired, those with intellectual disabilities or autism, children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and children with epilepsy.
Wisconsin Lions Camp is also the main collection point for used eyeglasses and several other items.
They have also donated to Wisconsin Eye Bank, Leader Dog for the Blind, Restoring Hope Transplant House, and Lions International which helps those in need throughout the world.
Over $20,000 has been given out in scholarships to date, with the program continuing.
The organization holds several fundraisers throughout the year, but the softball tournament and chicken dinner during Rustic Lore are the ones that bring in the most money for the club.
The club, in conjunction with the Glenwood City summer recreation program, purchased a new scoreboard, which they hope to have up and running by the tournament in September, provided it is not cancelled or postponed due to the current crisis.
They have also installed a new flagpole and flag, and have a commemorative plaque that will be installed at the base of the flagpole.
In addition, Lions Club members have painted and repaired both dugouts and picnic tables, planted several trees along the outside of the field, and have coordinated with Viking Coca Cola in River Falls in 2019 to get a standup beverage cooler donated to replace the old one.
The new sign should be up this year also, but the Lions Club has many ideas to make sure it is done right.
At the March 16 Glenwood City Council meeting the members voted unanimously to change the name of Glen Hills Memorial Field to Glen Hills Lions Memorial field.