Back in the 1950s, the Wilmette Optimist Club was one of the original sponsors of .
So when the Wilmette Baseball Association decided it was time to do a major upgrade on the town's historic baseball stadium, the Optimist Club saw it as another opportunity to continue their long-time relationship.
Earlier: What's Your Best Roemer Park Memory?
On Saturday the Optimist Club gave $12,500 to Wilmette Baseball as an initial donation in a small ceremony at Roemer Park. They have committed to give an additional $7,500 to the Little League baseball organization over the next four years.
“The Optimist Club really stepped up, having the golf outing on behalf of us,” said Sid Tepps, president of WBA. “They've been supporting Wilmette Baseball since its inception. It's about community and it's a wonderful thing.”
The money was raised at the WOC's annual golf outing, which was held at White Deer Run in Vernon Hills in late June. It will go towards rebuilding the first-base dugout at Roemer Park.
“Our mission statement is ‘Bring out the best in kids,’” said Ron Porte, Vice President of the WOC. “We raise money and provide time and effort to help kids in the community.”
The Optimist Club also gives college scholarships to high school students, grants to local agencies, sponsors local sports teams and helps staff local events.
Aaron Lamm, 9, threw out the first pitch on Saturday afternoon. He played for Lad and Lassie in Wilmette’s Pinto League.
The WBA is still trying to raise funds for a new scoreboard, outfield fence and landscaping.