Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • Friends of Baseball help raise funds for Grey Ghosts

  • The Illinois Valley Central baseball team gets by with a little help from its friends, specifically, the IVC Friends of Baseball.
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  • The Illinois Valley Central baseball team gets by with a little help from its friends, specifically, the IVC Friends of Baseball.
    "In the last year we bought a new popcorn machine, a new scoreboard and the new tarps," Johnson said. "Coach Rashid gives us a wishlist and he writes down everything he needs. The old tarps were leaky so we got those for him last year.
    "Now he wants to give the roll batting cage to the sophomore field and that's what we are probably going to buy this year, a new one for the varsity field."
    The group is comprised of volunteers who raise money for improvements for the baseball program, including everything from field improvements to new carpet in the press box.
    "The spaghetti dinner is all about the press box, the netting, the dugouts, the tarps, the windscreen and, of course, now, the batting cages," Johnson said. "That's what the dinner is all about, and it's just word of mouth."
    "We raise money from concessions, too, but that's it. Dinner and the concessions are how we raise money."
    Johnson, in his last year as president of the Friends, has a core group of members helping to make sure the IVC Friends of Baseball runs smoothly.
    "I have had two ladies who help me run the concession stands in the last few years and they are Angie Wilmington and Sue Furuholmen," Johnson said. "Ed McIntyre is on the board as well as Tom Youngman and Jeff Gauwitz. Then we have some new guys coming in. We have Mark Strebel and Scott Thulean. We try to get the freshmen parents to help out. The big helpers are the dads. Mike Durham and Shannon Kluge are two of our best cooks. They mainly come and cook at the night games."
    Johnson, in his last year, said he is ready to step down and let someone else take the reins.
    "It's fun and it keeps me busy," Johnson said. "It keeps me active spring till June. My kids played. Jared played until his sophomore year and then quit to take golf more seriously. My youngest son, Jordan, came along and played baseball freshman through his varsity year."
    The spaghetti supper is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at IVC High School.
    "The kids bus the tables and the parents bring the desserts," Johnson said.
    The supper includes bread, salad, dessert and a beverage for $8. Children five and under eat free.
    Tickets can be purchased from any IVC baseball player or at the door. T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for purchase at the dinner.
    For any questions, call 712-3356.
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