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New Lighting System for Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park Ballfield

Posted on Wednesday August 07, 2019
On Tuesday, August 6, the Town of Paradise held a ceremony to celebrate the installation of a new lighting system at the large ballfield in Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park. Mayor Dan Bobbett and Council were joined by representatives from Paradise Minor Baseball, the Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park Commission, and Pennecon for the event.  Blue Jays alumnus Homer Bush and players from Paradise Minor Baseball were also in attendance for the celebration. 
“This is a significant addition to our recreation facilities in the Town of Paradise. On behalf of the Town, I thank the Jays Care Foundation and Pennecon for supporting Paradise Minor Baseball in this initiative,” said Mayor Dan Bobbett. “Our new Recreation and Open Space Master Plan identified the need for partnerships and regional sharing to enhance our recreational programming and it is great to work with our sporting organizations and community partners to make a project like this a reality.”
Paradise Minor Baseball hosts many of its programs and games at the ballfields at Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park. With the new lighting system, the organization is able to host evening games and offer more programing.  “For years it was our goal as, an association, to obtain lights for Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park’s large baseball field. With the help of the Jays Care Foundation, the Town of Paradise, and Pennecon our goal has become a reality. The lights will not only extend our playing time each day, but they will enable us to extend our baseball season into September and October when the days get shorter.  From the players, coaches, parents, guardians, and our executive we say thank you,” said Craig Walker, President, Paradise Minor Baseball. 
In 2018, Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays, awarded a $150,000 grant to support the instillation of lighting through the organization’s Field Of Dreams program. The program provides funding to design, refurbish and build safe spaces for children and youth to play baseball, develop life skills and learn from positive role models. To date, Jays Care has invested over $350,000 supporting the refurbishment of baseball diamonds across Newfoundland and Labrador.
The project also received support from Pennecon which provided a $175,000 in-kind donation for the installation of the lighting system. “At Pennecon, we care about our people, our communities, and our province, which is why we have a long history of investing in and supporting the places we work and live. We have worked in the Town of Paradise for over 30 years, and we are incredibly proud to be involved with this wonderful community project, and we look forward to seeing the new lighting system brighten many future games,” said Larry Puddister, Executive Chairman, Pennecon. 
Immediately following the ceremony, Paradise Minor Baseball held the first official game under the lights. It was a Bantam AAA Division game between the host team Paradise Phantoms and the CBS Raiders. These two minor baseball associations have worked and partnered collaboratively together for many years as each association worked through membership and divisional growth challenges, as well as supporting each other for field time and staff when necessary.