By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Danielle Bethell knew she’d be working on her project at Keizer Little League Park on Monday.
What she didn’t know was it ended up being an unofficial Spruce Up KLL Park Day of sorts.
Bethell and her helpers Joe Miller and James Willwert from Dalke Construction, as well as Mark Caillier, were at the facility at 8 a.m. Monday as Stephanie Bojorquez, KLL president, opened the gates to let them in and fix damage at Field 6 caused by vandals last fall.
The crew tore down the field’s two damaged dugouts and score box.
Later in the morning, the crew was surprised to see more vehicles come into the parking lot along Ridge Drive. Taylor Russell, a 17-year-old member of Scout Troop 67, had come with a crew to work on his Eagle Scout project. The project: putting new roofs on the damaged dugouts on Field 3.
“At about 9:30 I saw the other trucks pull up,” Bethell said. “It was serendipitous it wound up working like that. It’s awesome. This baseball field is all about the kids.”
Bethell’s Keizer Rotary Pioneer project got additional assistance from Fredinburg Masonry and Dale’s Remodeling.
“After the damage, I was talking with some friends,” said Bethell, who spearheaded last year’s efforts to raise money for a new retaining wall at KLL Park. “Larry Dalke said he would help out.”
Monday’s work was just one stage, with more to come.
“The goal is to have it done before spring break,” Bethell said. “The vandals and their families will have to help. By the first weekend of March we hope to have two days scheduled for the rebuild.”
When Bethell woke up Monday, she braced herself for nasty working conditions as heavy rain hit Keizer. But conditions dried up and the sun came out as the work was done.
“We were doing it rain or shine,” she said. “I’ve got my rain gear ready.”
Russell, meanwhile, got going on his project last fall. He initially contacted Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) leaders after the damage, since KYSA had the management contract for the park at the time. In turn, he was sent to Bojorquez and KLL.
“I wanted to do my Eagle Scout project and I wanted to help Keizer Little League Park,” Russell said. “We are doing the roofs on these two dugouts at Field 3. People from scouts, the Latter Day of Saints church and friends agreed to help out.”
The crew included a couple of father-son pairs in Brady and Tayson Whetten as well as Andy and Jacob Grimmer.
“We thought it was going to rain today,” Russell said as the sun shone down. “We lucked out.”
Russell was spurred on by more than just fixing vandalism damage.
“The vandalism helped me get started, but I also played baseball here for nine years,” he said. “I was here every spring and summer.”