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Merced Breakfast Lions make bleachers possible

Mike Conway

Post Date:08/30/2018

Identification, left to right, Mark Seivert, Celeste Sharp, Michael Belluomini, Ken Harrison, Ray Wenham, Toby Masterson, Bill Halpin, Kent Christensen

  Ground broken thanks to Merced Breakfast Lions

Ground was broken for a set of concrete bleachers at the Merced Youth Sports Complex Thursday, with members of the Merced Breakfast Lions Club turning the first shovel full of dirt.

It was $35,000 of money donated by the Club that made it possible for the City to begin construction of the bleachers, which will replace two sets of aging aluminum bleachers that were subject to vandals and wear.

'The Merced Breakfast Lions are happy to make this donation to the City of Merced,' said Michael Belluomini, the Club's second vice president, who said the bleachers were one of the Club's 'legacy projects.' He said one of the Club's goals was promoting youth.

The Club brings in money for its projects through a variety of community-based fundraising efforts including events like its Nov. 3 annual fall dinner.

The bleachers will be on the home and away sides of the main baseball field at the Complex. It is the only lighted field, and is considered the premiere field at the complex.

Every spring and summer more than 500 young players in Merced hit the Sports Complex fields to run the bases, soak in the sunshine and learn discipline as part of Merced Youth Baseball.

Merced Youth Baseball serves players between the ages of 5 and 16 at the 1800 Wardrobe Ave site. The Complex also is used by local high schools and the area junior highs are considering using the fields. The fields also are used on weekends by families and neighborhood kids for pick-up games.

The other two fields at the Sports Complex already have concrete bleachers. The new bleachers are expected to be able to seat more than 100 people, where the old ones would hold fewer than 50. The new bleachers will be easy to maintain since there are no parts to replace and the concrete is easy to wash and clean. It also improves the security and sanitation for the site.

Nick Vargas Construction is the contractor for the project.

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