Response to Lions 1 Dugout Wrap
Written by: TVBL Board of Directors
Sunday, May 21, 2017
In early May, TVBL installed a dugout wrap for one of our sponsors, Service Professor. The wrap has since been taken down. Please see the note below from Tony Krause at Service Professor in regards to this decision. The TVBL Board of Directors wanted to acknowledge/reply to Tony's message as well as issue a response to the Forest Hills community since there were several misleading comments about TVBL on various social media sites. It is our hope that our note will better inform our local community about what TVBL is really all about. Please see below for these two messages.
Friends & Neighbors,
My name is Tony Krause and I'm the vice-president at Service Professor. My brother Brad and I sincerely apologize for any negative impact caused by the dugout wrap recently displayed at Lions Fields. The wrap, received as part of a Thornapple Valley Baseball League (TVBL) sponsorship package, caught the attention of community members, but not in the way we'd hoped. Though our intention to support our local children was sincere, we have heard the community's voice and respect the Township's decision to remove the wrap.
As a local, family-owned company, we at Service Professor serve our communities in more than just the commercial sense. We are vested community members; our children attend local schools, we worship at local churches, and we support fellow local businesses. We also strive to be good community stewards, volunteering and financially supporting initiatives, such as the TVBL. As such, Service Professor remains committed to the Thornapple Valley Baseball League and will make an additional monetary donation, apart from our current sponsorship, to ensure the children who play at local fields can continue to do so for years to come.
Vice-President, Service Professor
To Tony Krause and the Forest Hills Community,
First and foremost, the TVBL Board of Directors would like to thank Tony and Brad Krause for the recent note and for their contributions to the league. We share your thoughts and sentiments about the dugout wrap. We also apologize if our dugout wrap offended some in the Ada community and will continue to look for other options to support our youth baseball league. The revenue TVBL receives from the many sponsors like Service Professor helps ensure that we can continue to offer a very affordable opportunity for our local youth to experience baseball. With that said and since there were a number of comments written online about the league in general – we would like to make sure our local community is aware that TVBL is much more than just about playing baseball games………
TVBL has been a part of the Ada community since 1954 and this year encompassed 650+ local Forest Hills area kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. The league is supported by its volunteer board members and its 100+ volunteer coaches that not only teach the kids about the game of baseball – but about the various life-related lessons like hard work, respect, teamwork and trust just to name a few.
The league is also comprised of its very own kid umpires. As the TVBL players progress through the league, they are offered opportunities to be paid to umpire games. Yes, we could pay to contract for others to come in and umpire our games, but we would much rather provide our very own kids with this growth opportunity. For most kids, this is their first job which of course teaches them about being responsible, being on time, communicating, dealing with conflict, earning money, etc. Even more, umpiring affords them to take some ownership in the league as well as teaches them firsthand how hard it is to call balls and strikes and outs. Besides umpires, TVBL also provides job opportunities for concessions workers and field prep crew to local Forest Hills teenagers (most from past TVBL families).
TVBL has also been receptive over the years to providing opportunities for our local Eagle Scouts to come in and perform various scout projects like building shelves in our umpire shed, benches in our indoor batting cage area, bleachers for our stands and a new deck outside of our concessions area. This is obviously a win-win since TVBL benefits from having these various items – but we also know it helps develops character, pride and work ethic for these local Eagle Scouts.
There are also memorials dedicated to various former TVBL participants including John Post, a former TVBL coach and Lucas Van Sprague, a former TVBL player who each passed away at a much too early age.
Finally, we wanted to address the various concerns and conjectures posted online about our financial status. We are a non-profit entity that is currently not desperate for revenue – but at the same time is not raking in extra money. While our financials posted online from 2013 might suggest to some we have excessive money, this revenue is offset by our annual expenses as well as periodic capital projects incurred over the years that utilize any excess funds that may be earned from year to year. Some recent capital projects have included:
-improvements to the fields itself ($20K+ required about every 5-7 years)
-a new building constructed about 10 years ago that houses our concession stand, indoor bathrooms and indoor batting cages to which we continue to make periodic improvements/upgrades
-two new public playgrounds (partially supported by donations as well as our own league revenue) that are used year round by the Ada community
We are very thankful to the Lions Club that continues to allow us to use their land and to sponsors like Service Professor that help support our league and its various initiatives. As stated previously, we will continue to look for new funding opportunities to support both the annual administration of our baseball league as well as periodic related community initiatives. Since 1954, we truly are a proud community of players, coaches, board members, umpires, concession stand workers, field preparers, sponsors and supportive TVBL families. Thank you all for making this such a great league to be involved in!
TVBL Board of Directors
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