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Ripon High stadium effort may receive $200K grant

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POSTED January 16, 2010 4:26 a.m.

RIPON – The Ripon Community Athletic Fund might find itself a whole lot richer in the coming month.

Organization President Stephanie Hobbs announced earlier this week that the group is currently awaiting final word from the U.S. Soccer Foundation about whether they will be awarded a $200,000 grant that will move the non-profit organization closer to its goal of renovating Stouffer Field.

If the group is bestowed the grant, the organization – which consists mainly of parents and concerned community citizens that want to see a state-of-the-art facility constructed at the high school for future generations to enjoy – will have more than $250,000 cash on hand as well as an additional $200,000 worth of in-kind donations.

The Ripon Unified School District has been working closely with Hobbs and other members of the RCAF to help steer the group in the right direction so that everything lines up according to plan – going far as to have the organization included on the Redevelopment Agency’s wish-list that could end up securing the project even more funding if it becomes available.

The City of Turlock teamed up with their local school district and will give $2.8 million to renovate the 60-year-old stadium at Turlock High School – giving hopefuls like Hobbs the drive that they need to continue on with the fundraising drive that began in 2007.

If the group was able to secure the necessary funding, a state-of-the-art artificial field surface and an all-weather track would be installed – lengthening the life of each surface during peak use periods where multiple teams often strip the field of huge sections of grass.

“We just want to have something that can be a source of community pride as well as something safe and nice that our kids can enjoy,” Hobbs said. “We’re still driving forward with our plans, and we some things that we’re still working on that could end up bringing us closer to our goal.”

In addition to the new field and track surfaces, the multi-phased project also includes replacing both the home and visitors sideline bleachers as well as building a larger snack bar and bathroom area for fans.

 Once completed, Stouffer Field will have seating for 2,600 people – more than 1,900 of which will be positioned on the home side of the stadium.

Registration for one of the group’s largest fundraisers – Rina’s Run – is now open on the RCAF website. The event includes a family-oriented 5K run as well as athlete’s fantasy 10K run. Participants can register on-line at www.active.com, or can download an entry form from the RCAF website at www.rcafsite.com. Any questions about the race can be directed to Laurie Reilly at 985-7445.



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