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Ground breaking May 25 for Stouffer Field upgrade
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RIPON – After five years of a grassroots campaign, members of the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation can finally celebrate.

Ground breaking for Phase One of the renovation plans to update Stouffer Field is set to begin on May 25.

“That’s six week away,” said RCAF president Stephanie Hobbs earlier week as donations are still being sought. “This is the tipping point for those who would like to come in for the final push over the finish line to take action.”

But before that, a special golden shovel ceremony is planned from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Ripon High stadium.

All are welcome to attend this ground-breaking event which will also include a large donation presentation along with tree-planting in recognition of Arbor Day.

On Saturday, April 28, RCAF will get some help from the newly formed Love Ripon, which, in this case, are volunteers putting in their time to make better the community.

The fifth annual Rina’s Run 5K/10K on May 12 already has $30,000 worth of sponsors and is need of $26,000 more, Hobbs said.

“Come out and walk or run a few miles with your friends,” she added.

This year’s race shirts will read “Ripon High Stadium 2012 Groundbreaking.”

Incidentally, Phase One of project will begin the day after the Ripon High Class of 2012 commencement exercises, with heavy equipment rolling in to demolish the old track and field.

Gallo Winery will also help out by hauling away the sod.

According to the RCAF timelines, workers will install irrigation, drainage, infrastructure for future phases, and re-sod the athletic playing field in June.

In July, they’ll level he track, install additional projects, and work towards installing sidewalks.

Storm drainage, fencing and additional sidewalks are planned for August based on available funding.

Funding could also make possible the installation of the all-weather track in September. RCAF is applying for a $150,000 grant through Integrated Waste Management for a recycled rubber sub-surface, Hobbs noted.

If all goes accordingly, she said, RHS will finally have that regulation-length track, a home soccer field, and even trees to provide shade for athletes participating in events during those hot days.

For more information or to support the cause, contact Stephanie Hobbs at 209-599-6861 or log on to