It’s not a mid-life crisis, but Niwot Youth Sports is hoping to have a little work done after turning the big 5-0 earlier this year. In the coming weeks, the non-profit organization, formerly known as Gunbarrel Lefthand Valley Recreation Association (GLVRA), plans to launch a capital campaign to fund some much-needed improvements to its largest field complex, Hangge Fields at Monarch Park, according to Executive Director Patrick Longseth.
“We’re going to raise funds this year to put a building out at the Monarch facility with concessions, restrooms, an events office for baseball and softball tournaments, and then a place for the lawnmowers and things like that.”
Longseth said the NYS executive board estimates that it will need about $500,000 to “have everything done that we want to have done,” but at least some of that will be self-funded.
“The main funding we have so far is from our softball director Glenn Wager, who has been running the concession stand out at Monarch for seven or eight years now, and over that time that has built up quite a bit of money. That will be the basis for our funding.”
Construction could start as early as this fall, if the campaign is fulfilled quickly. However, Longseth predicted the project will ultimately break ground in 2020.
In the meantime, Longseth and the board are basking in the afterglow of the just-concluded golden anniversary baseball season, which was successful both on and off the field.
“It was just another great year of Niwot Youth Sports baseball and softball,” Longseth said. “We had record numbers of kids signed up, and just tons of positive responses. Championship games are just wrapping up for AAA and majors—two comp teams that have done really, really well this year. One finished in first place in its league, and the other one finished in second place.”
He was also upbeat about the recently revived summer skills camp conducted by Coach Adam Strah and the Niwot Hgh baseball team earlier this summer, calling it “outstanding.” It’s a tradition Longseth remembers from his days as an NYS athlete, and he said, “It’s just going to be a jumping off point for us and the high school in a partnership for a long time to come.”
With baseball and softball winding down, NYS is now looking ahead to the 2019 flag football season. Registration opened on July 1, and games begin in September. It is a coed league, open to boys and girls ages 5 to 12. The organization is also gearing up to relaunch its soccer program in a “joint-venture” with St. Vrain FC. Longseth expects to offer a camp and then an early spring season in 2020.
While the organization is growing, Longseth said the non-profit still depends on the support of local community members. On July 25, NYS will receive the proceeds from donations to the tip jar at Rock & Rails, and Longseth said that those funds will offset maintenance expenses and keep the teams affordable for local families.
“We try to keep our costs for registration at or below the other organizations in the area, but we have 10 fields to manage, and keeping the grass green and keeping those fields looking like they do isn’t cheap. Between the maintenance and all the other costs of running an organization, it’s really an important fundraiser for us. It helps keep the program going and going the way we like it.”
For more information about Niwot Youth Sports or to register for flag football, visit niwotyouthsports.org.