The Hawfields Civitan Club recently received some huge news in its mission to provide baseball and softball playing opportunities for the children of Mebane and surrounding communities.
The Hawfields Civitans learned on August 5 that they were one of four winners of the 2019 Durham Bulls Ballpark Project. The Durham Bulls are providing Hawfields Civitan with a $10,000 grant, which will allow a second ballfield at the Hawfields Civitan site adjacent to Hawfields Presbyterian Church along N.C. Highway 119 and Trollingwood-Hawfields Road.
This will help Hawfields Civitan offer more games and more practice opportunities for its youth baseball and softball leagues. The Civitans host baseball and softball leagues for pre-schoolers at the tee ball level way up to Little League baseball for boys and fast-pitch softball for girls.
“We’ve been working on just the dream of actually getting this field since 2012,” Kim Dawson, a member of the Hawfields Civitan Club, said in a video produced by the Durham Bulls announcing the Ballpark Project grant. “And every year we think this is going to be our year. This is going to be our year. And now we 100 percent believe this is going to be our year.”
“The community is growing by leaps and bounds here in Mebane,” Dawson added. “We need the place so all the kids in Mebane have a place to play. The county kids that don’t live in the Mebane city limits are looking for places to play. If we could have the kids on site, not only can they get the opportunity to play more, but they can understand more about how we run our field. How we run it through volunteers. And how this can make an impact on them as they can grow into young adults.”
Another member of the Hawfields Civitan Club who spoke in the team-sponsored video, Harriett Covington, described the advantages the new field will bring in terms of scheduling. The money the Bulls are providing the Hawfields Civitans will provide for fencing to set the boundaries for the field, along with dirt that will be molded into the new infield.
“It will be great to help put the fence up and get the dirt in here to get the infield done,” Covington explained. “It will help our program a lot because we can use this little ballfield even before we get lights. We can use it for practice time, and maybe even some 6:00 game times, because the little kids don’t play but an hour.”
The Durham Bulls Ballpark Project, presented by Coastal Credit Union, is in its second year in 2019. Any organization which operates a baseball or softball facility is encouraged to apply, including Little Leagues, softball leagues, Miracle Leagues, schools and Parks and Recreation offices.
All organizations wishing to apply were required to fill out an application and submit a 500-750 word essay describing why this renovation would be important to its facility. The Hawfields Civitan entry provided examples of how the $10,000 donation were be used if awarded.
"The Ballpark Project was a massive success in year one last summer," Durham Bulls Vice President Mike Birling said. "We received a number of impressive applications, and our four winners were very deserving. Along with Coastal Credit Union, we look forward to making a large impact for four new organizations in 2019.”
Hawfields Civitan Club and the other three Ballpark Project winners were selected by a committee comprised of Durham Bulls and Coastal Credit Union employees. Representatives from all four winning organizations will be recognized on the field at a Durham Bulls game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park later in the month of August.