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Ready to play ball
Kiwanis vote to donate $12,000 for sign at GB Sports Complex
new deh sports complex pic
The central restroom and concession building for the Great Bend Sports Complex is shown, Wednesday. Most of the work on the new complex is done, and it will be ready for Great Bend High School baseball and softball practices when they start in March. - photo by Dale Hogg/Great Bend Tribune

This is a link to the YouTube video on the Great Bend Sports Complex, posted last November by the Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Pending a ruling on the bylaws, the Great Bend Noon Kiwanis Club is ready to commit $12,000 toward the purchase of a color LED sign for the new Great Bend Sports Complex.

The first phase of the building project on the 60-acre site on the south side of Great Bend is near completion. There are four ball diamonds, that will be ready to use when Great Bend High School baseball and softball teams begin spring practice in March, Park Supervisor Scott Keeler said. The complex is being touted by the Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau, and there’s even a video posted on Internet site YouTube.

Kiwanis members voted Wednesday to pledge $2,000 a year for the next six years to help the City of Great Bend purchase a 4-by-8 foot sign that will be placed near the entrance on Second Street, off of McKinley. While most of the club’s spending decisions are made by a board of directors, this project required a vote by the general membership because it will involve a commitment for years to come.

Members Terry Turner and Barb Konrade-Stierlen outlined the benefits and some details of the proposed project.

"We feel it meets our criteria of supporting youth projects ... and supporting the community," Turner said. "It will be similar in size to (the sign) across the street at the hospital." The city already has a color LED sign at the Main Street entrance to Brit Spaugh Park, and is planning to add one on 10th Street, Turner said. Kiwanis will be allowed to advertise on all three signs.

Turner said most people aren’t aware of some of the club’s major projects, such as the "jungle gym" in Veterans Park. Konrade-Stierlen agreed that using the signs would allow the club to promote itself.

Turner also noted that the club’s annual fundraiser, the pancake dinner, is getting a new major sponsor — Nex-Tech — and that company’s donation of $1,000 and about $600 in paper supplies will go a long way to paying for the project this year, leaving enough money for other projects. The sponsorship is likely to continue in future years, he said.

Member Karen Neuforth presented the minority opinion. "I think the money would be better spent for projects like the Golden Belt Community Foundation’s Pay It Forward program," helping needy children in the community, she said.

Neuforth also raised the question of whether the sign project is even allowed under the club’s bylaws, which she said are modeled after standard Kiwanis bylaws used around the nation. Article 18 states that monies from fundraising projects "shall be used only for charitable, educational, religious and eleemosynary activities." "Eleemosynary" means "Of, relating to, or dependant on charity; gratuitous," according to The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition.

Club secretary Joe Boley said he tried checking with the Kansas Kiwanis District for clarification on the issue, but was directed to the national headquarters, which had not yet responded with an opinion. Great Bend Kiwanis President Amanda Urban asked club members to vote, with approval being contingent on a finding that the bylaws are not violated. A final count was not revealed, but club officers said the project was approved.