Published On: Thu, Jun 1st, 2017

Childhood memories come alive at city park

RANDOLPH —  As a child, Jill Nielson remembered her parents going to the Randolph Veterans Memorial Park for volleyball league play years ago.
She is now helping to bring it back with help from area residents.
“We have nine teams this year, including teams from  Hartington, Laurel, and Coleridge, said Nielson.
Over 70 team players in all are participating this year.
“I enjoyed playing in Norfolk when I lived there and this year helped organize the alumni tournament.  We donated almost $1,000 in proceeds over the past couple of years from the alumni venue to help get the summer league going once again,” she said.
The Randolph Community Foundation partnered with the City and Parks & Recreation board to expand the facility.
Josh Rayford, Foundation president, brought the entities together for the project.
“Backhaus Sand & Gravel donated the sand for the original and additional new court.  The City Street department finished the courts.  Randy Beck installed new poles and lighting,” Rayford said.
The teams and their families meet each Sunday night in the park south of the swimming pool for matches.
Tim Kint and Scott Backhaus, co-chairs for the City Parks and Recreation board, were pleased with the new addition to the park’s services.
“Grassroots efforts like this are the best testament to why our parks are here,” Kint said. “Folks sometimes think recreation costs us too much.  In fact, it’s programs like this why living in a small town is so attractive to families.”
Scott Backhaus added the concession stand is open for the convenience of the players and their families each Sunday night they play.
“This effort involves a lot more than the City, Foundation, or other organizations.  Even R.O.A.R. has provided funds and volunteers to help with the effort,” Backhaus said.
More improvements are planned for the local facility,” Rayford said,
“Next steps will be to add more seating for the families and fans and possibly a fence around the courts,” he said.
“It’s great to see the tradition continue,” added Neilson.  “This is one of the many things that make small town life fun for couples and families.”