Town opens new facilities
• By Kevin Weedmark
People at the Outdoor Eventplex during the grand opening.
Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex,
Borderland Co-op’s Murray Newman Field
Hundreds of people covered the deck and the ground level for the grand opening of the Tim Hortons Eventplex and Borderland Co-op’s Murray Newman Field at Bradley Park on Thursday.
Borderland Co-op’s Murray Newman Field is a baseball field that has been completely rehabilitated.
“Mike Schwean contacted us to see if we could help with improvements to Murray Newman Field, as it needed some upgrades,” Borderland Co-op Member Relations Manager Tera Harper told the crowd.
“He said if we like we could join our name with Murray’s. Of course we said a big yes! I didn’t know Murray as I’m an import to this fine community, but I was curious to find out who he was. Murray coached bantam and midget hockey.
“He helped form the senior hockey team. He was on town council for 18 years. He was president of the recreation board and treasurer of the town library. He served as chair of the swimming pool, town hall, and Communiplex. He drew out the plans for Lloyd Bradley Park and with the help of the Kinsmen worked on the baseball diamond named Muray Newman Field.
“Before he passed away he was chair for the Moosomin Health Facility Planning Committee. For years he went to many meetings to raise money for the hospital, one of his biggest accomplishments.
“We are honored to have our name alongside Mr. Newman. He was very much a community supporter and we will continue to be one in his memory.
“This is a community where we all work together to accomplish so many great things. Whether you are a business providing sponsorships or donations, or an individual who volunteers, we should all be proud.”
Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex is a park area between the baseball diamond and the Sportsplex, with rubber decking at ground level, a grassy area, and a stage at the north end.
“The Tim Hortons Eventplex came about a year ago. We contacted Mike when the Sportsplex was opening and said is there any project we could get on board with where we could work with you for the next four, five, six years, something that would be lasting, something impactful that we could do together with Parks and Rec,” said Brandon Banga of Tim Hortons.
“He said the Sportsplex is looked after to this point, but we have a vision for doing a park next to the patio and the ball park.
“He explained what his vision was, what he wanted to do and we immediately were on board.”
“When we see what we have developed here today and over the last few years, we should all be thankful that we have Mike as our rec director. When you look around, most of what you see in close proximity, and the other facilities around, Mike has had a hand in. Mike sounds a lot like Murray Newman to me. Thank you Mike for turning your vision into a reality. I know it’s just a start and we have plans for the rest of the park as we go along.
“The proceeds we get every year from our Smile Cookie campaign is what is going towards the Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex. Last year it was just over 7,000 cookies we sold, so over $7,000 was contributed to the park. Our staff has a big part in that.
“I also have to thank our customers, loyal customers who come daily, weekly, monthly, sometimes five times a day.
“The previous four years of the smile cookie sales we have made contributions to the elementary playground, the outdoor arena, Moosomin Food Bank, and last year for the first time to the Outdoor Eventplex. Those four years we have made $25,000 just selling cookies, thanks to all of you. We plan to commit the proceeds from the Smile Cookie campaign to the Eventplex for five years in total, and our target going forward is $7,000 per year.”
Mayor Larry Tomlinson spoke about both new facilities.
“If you look over to the west you will see Borderland Co-op’s Murray Newman Field,” Mayor Larry Tomlinson said in a speech to open the facility. “Back in the ‘90s Moosomin Minor Ball had decided to move all the kids’ ball to fastball. As a result of that, this field had no major tenant.
“Over time the diamond, due to lack of use, saw its condition deteriorate. Then in the fall of 2016 our Parks and Recreation services got word that Moosomin Minor Ball had intentions of returning to baseball in time for the 2017 season. With that we knew we had time to get the facility back into shape but funding was a concern. Our Parks and Recreation Department began to look for a potential sponsor to help us out … and not surprising Jason Schenn, Tera Harper and the local Co-op stepped up. They committed $10,000 to cover the cost of shale, and with that the work was underway. Looking at the facility now it is in the best condition it has ever been in. It truly has the look of a professional ball diamond. As you will see tonight it sets a breathtaking backdrop for the Sportsplex deck, and even more important minor baseball is back with a vengeance.
“Next is our Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex. When our Parks and Recreation Department developed a blueprint of what the final PotashCorp Sportsplex would look like they snuck in another blueprint of an adjoining park. Parks and Rec said it was all part of a masterplan. Once again funding was an issue and we needed a corporate sponsor to help us along. This time it was Brandon and Jolene Banga, our local owners of Tim Hortons. Not only did they help fund initial costs but they have committed to funding for five years with 2017 being year two of five.
“While you will see we were not quite able to get everything finished up for tonight you can envision where we are headed. Irrigation and grass is going into this park area. Trees will fully enclose this area to the east, west and south. I think we can all agree this outdoor space is developing into something very unique and very special.
“I know our Parks and Rec Department are working closely with Brandon and Jolene planning the next three years as more and more infrastructure will go into this fantastic outdoor Eventplex. We envision a facility holding family functions, community events, and corporate get togethers as well as a place for Moosomin residents and visitors alike to enjoy the scenery, the sun and the company for years and years to come.
“We are so fortunate in Moosomin to have so very many corporate and community sponsors so heavily invested in our recreation facilities and programs.
“We are extremely proud of Lloyd Bradley Park. From a bare canvas in the ‘80s to a facility that rivals any town or city in Saskatchewan, this is the hub and the heartbeat of our community. We are so very thankful tonight as we welcome two additional community investors to our family—Borderland Co-op and Tim Hortons.
“I declare Borderland Co-op’s Murray Newman Field open for ball and Tim Horton’s Outdoor Eventplex open to the public.”