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Letter to the Editor: Labor unions help with stadium

Monday, April 19, 2010

Now that we have started playing baseball at Whitey Herzog Stadium in Jackson, it is a great time to reflect on the people and organizations that have helped make this a reality. While there is much to be done still, we feel we are off to a good start. On numerous occasions we have mentioned the help of Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, the Jackson Noon and Evening Optimist clubs and the Clark family of Jackson for donating the land, as well as numerous local businesses and individuals. Without their support this project would never have gotten off the ground.

One group that has played an equally big part and one that we are equally proud to be associated with are many of the local labors unions of Southeast Missouri. When we first started soliciting funds for our project the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council 1104, the United Association of Painters and Allied Trades and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 all donated generously, each of which said the only thing they want in return is to see children playing on a nice baseball field.

Since then IBEW Local 1 has been working with us to get our fields lit and scoreboard operating at no cost to us. IBEW Local 702 stepped up for us when we were able to purchase six 80-foot lights and poles from Cairo, Ill. Contractor L.E. Myers donated the equipment, and local lineman and public utility laborers donated their time to take down these lights poles that have been up for decades -- no small feat, as you can imagine.

This is not the first time local unions have been friends of our youths. In 2005, IBEW 702 help install the lights at the Jackson High School soccer field, and in 2006 Bricklayers Local 23 and the apprenticeship class donated time and labor to build our concession stand and restrooms at Jackson Soccer Park, again at no cost.

While many people have certain impressions about labor unions in this area, our impression is they are great partners in our community and true friends of our youths.

JACK LITZELFELNER Sr., JACK LITZELFELNER Jr., Developers of Whitey Herzog Stadium, Jackson