Volunteers are the lifeblood of many communities, and Aitkin is no exception

From helping at the county fair, Relay for Life, tutoring at Rippleside Elementary or coaching youth athletic teams, the list of organizations and activities that benefit from volunteers is endless.

Aitkin Youth Fastpitch utilized more than 150 volunteers and businesses to reconstruct two ball fields behind Rippleside Elementary. The paid ad below lists the individual names of those who pitched in to make softball for girls in the Aitkin community a reality. Volunteers brought rakes, shovels, even heavy equipment but mostly their desire to help get the job done.

Following are comments by some of the volunteers:

Sarah Shereck said, “I got roped into being the president of AYF. Austin and Colleen Krohn had this huge vision of what the new fields could look like. It was such a positive outlook that everyone wanted to be part of building the program, sort of a take-off from the line in Field of Dreams ‘If you build it, they will come.” And they did. We hoped to have enough girls in the 12U age group for one team-we had enough for four teams.

I have two girls who benefit from the new fields and go to softball games four-five nights a week. It has created such a positive atmosphere for softball.”

Frank Bowser brought his 50 HP John Deere to the fields to move dirt and sand. “I just like helping out,” said Bowser. “It was a great community project.”

Laura Bill and her husband Jason brought in their dump trailer and skidsteer to help move dirt and sand. “Austin and Colleen (Krohn) were so excited about the vision for AYF that we wanted to help get the program rolling,” said Laura. “Two of our daughters love softball, and we wanted to share their excitement.”

Aitkin wrestling coach Larry Liljenquist stated, “I don’t think that we did all that much. We moved a little dirt and helped cut out sod to make a true infield. My wife and I are recipients of everyone’s efforts. We have three daughters in the program and are at the field every night so we helped with some of the coaching. There were so many people with so many talents. We were happy to pitch in.”

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