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Ceremony unveils new turf fields at Branson RecPlex

A ceremony at Branson's RecPlex last weekend celebrated a huge upgrade to the facility.


Hundreds of supporters and sports enthusiasts gathered for a grand opening event to commemorate new turf on the ball fields at the RecPlex.  


Cindy Shook, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Branson, spoke to those in attendance


"We're here tonight to celebrate the new turf baseball and softball complex," noted Shook. "I, for one, could not be more excited for our community to experience the fields. Something that sports does is bring people together. People feel connected to their community because of sports. Playing on a team brings a sense of belonging and a common goal. Sports bring people together. Sports also teach us the value of hard work and teamwork."


Shook thanked Larry Milton and the Board of Aldermen, the Park Board, City Administrator Cathy Stepp, the Parks and Recreation Team who all helped make this project a reality. Shook also thanked the Park Maintenance Team for many of the extras that were included in the ball fields' facelift and many members of the community and area businesses for their contributions.


The improvements include sunshades, new LED scoreboards on every field, new backstops and batting cages.


"This has been a big undertaking and a dream come true," noted Shook, adding that a $1.6 million grant was received for much of the work at the complex.  


Mayor Larry Milton addressed the crowd, "As Cindy said, this is another project that is on time and on budget. This is just one of several openings we'll have this year, with what the City has been working on. In a few weeks, we'll be opening up the fire station. That, also, has been on time and on budget."


Milton added, "For those of you that know Cindy Shook, she is a true leader. She is inspirational. Our City government and our administration have a hundred percent confidence in Cindy. She will take on projects with the focus of saving our taxpayers money. I'm looking forward to her next project."


Former Major League Baseball Pitcher Scott Bales and mascot Louie from the Springfield Cardinals threw the first pitch on the new turf fields representing baseball players. Branson Junior High softball pitcher Mary Wood threw the softball first pitch.


A variety of activities for the entire family followed the ceremony, including t-ball, kickball and a friendly game between the Branson Police Department and Branson Fire Department. Many spectators enjoyed the game, in which the fire department was declared the winners.


Country vocalist Jason Pritchett and his beautiful and talented wife Desta opened the ceremony with a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.


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