Along the home run fence of Memorial Field in Redwood Falls stands a community fixture that has been glanced at for decades – at times with anticipation and others with jubilation, as it tells the story of games won and lost. If only scoreboards could talk.
The centerfield scoreboard has been part of America’s pastime at the local level for years, but that run is coming to an end.
As of this year, the old scoreboard is going to be replaced, and although some things are changing others are not.
The original scoreboard was made possible through a gift from the Redwood Falls Lions Club, and it is another gift from the same organization that is making the acquisition of a new scoreboard possible as well.
“No one can pinpoint the year the last scoreboard was installed, but our best guess is the late 70s, early 80s,” said Cindy LaBrie, president of the Redwood Falls Lions Club.
The Lions Club motto is “We Serve,” and clubs across there nation have taken that idea in myriad ways. The Redwood Falls club has followed suit, and this is one more example of its commitment to making the community better.
“The Lions Club is all about having a presence in the community,” said Dennis Moore, another Redwood Falls Lions Club member.
According to LaBrie, the local Lions Club launched what is known as the 300 club fundraiser in early 2017. Soon after Lions Club members began talking with former City of Redwood Falls parks and recreation director Jackie Edwards to identify projects that needed funding.
As those talks continued, the members began to gravitate to one project in particular, said LaBrie.
“The club worked with the city to secure a bid with Daktronics to replace the scoreboard,” said LaBrie, adding even though the style of scoreboard that is being installed is not built in the Redwood Falls plant the Lions Club believe strongly in sourcing the replacement with Daktronics as a means of supporting it for investing in the local community.
The Lions Club pledged $21,000 for the project.
“We are proud to be able to give back to the community and appreciate everyone who supported the 300 Club fundraiser that made it possible,” said LaBrie.
According to Ross Nachreiner, City of Redwood Falls parks and recreation director, the replacement of this scoreboard has been on the park commission’s radar for quite some time.
“The City of Redwood Falls Parks and Recreation Department is grateful for the donation the Lions Club has agreed to,” said Nachreiner, adding it is great to see organizations work together to make a project like this a reality.
The scoreboard is scheduled to arrive some time later this month, and, weather permitting, should be installed in late April or early May.