Jun 2, 2014 11:41 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
It's finally batter up at Lawtell Park. The facility is now open after being closed for the the last 10 years. The park is up and running thanks to an agreement between the St. Landry Parish School Board and the parish. The school board is in charge of the property, and agreed in 2012 to lease it to the parish. Since then, it's been a community effort trying to raise money for the park and open its gates.
"They needed a place like this, instead of having to go to Opelousas or Eunice. It's closer for them to have a ballpark for their own over here," said Lawtell Park spectator Elsie Bellow.
From the older players to the little ones, about 300 kids now have a place to play.
"It took a lot of hard work, and we didn't give up on it. We continued even though it looked like it wasn't going to happen. We didn't give up, and it's happening. And hopefully it will continue to happen, and we just need a lot of support from the community," said Lawtell Park Board member Alice Thierry.
Now that the park is open, the next big push is finding funding to keep it open. They need money to build a new roof over the bleachers, and also find money to build a concession stand.
"It's needed extremely badly because without the funding, it's very hard to have this program. But the children deserve this, so the funding is very important," Thierry said.
"You can start something and then you realize that if you don't have the funding to keep it going, you may get to a point where you no longer can fund it, and it may have to be shutdown. But I'm hoping that will never happen," said St. Landry Councilman Jerry Red, Jr., who represents District One.