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Wausau parents and volunteers fight to keep sports programs alive

One group of parents came together to give their kids a chance to play ball. (WJHG/WECP)
One group of parents came together to give their kids a chance to play ball. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 5:12 PM CST
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Getting your kids to play outside isn't always easy, but for folks in Wausau, they're facing more barriers than just the TV screen.

"Our fields are in bad shape. I need a tee-ball field built," Wausau Recreation Department Director Steve Hallmark said.

Hallmark has a long list of repairs he wants to make to the league's baseball and softball fields, but practically no money to do it.

"Last year, we've had a fundraiser almost every month," Hallmark said.

Last year also saw the return of Wausau's Recreation Department. It had been shut down several years before because of a lack of money.

"A lot of parents don't have much money around here. This is Washington County. And we want a place where kids can come and parents don't have to worry about shelling out money for registration," Hallmark said.

One group of parents came together to give their kids a chance to play ball.

"We are just really wanting everybody to understand the importance of children needing to be outside, active and motivated to do something. The thing is we need that support. We need it from the parents. We need it from the businesses," Wausau Recreation Department Volunteer April Willis said.

With a lack of resources to begin with, and the fields practically falling apart, they have to work extra hard to make ends meet.

"We are absolutely all dependent on ourselves here," Willis said.

"Mostly every bit of the money we have in our account is from fundraisers and sponsors," Hallmark said.

The money they receive goes right back to the kids.

"We had 70 kids last year, and we're looking at right now probably having more this year," Hallmark said.

It's a little bit they're hoping will go a long way.

Saturday, January 25, the department will host its second SWA professional wrestling fight. It will be held at the Possum Palace at 7:00 p.m.

The address is 3121 Possum Palace Drive, Wausau. Admission is $8. Kids 6 and under are free with a paid adult.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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