It was another milestone accomplishment for Ripon benefactor Tony Mistlin with the ribbon cutting of the large dining room and elevator at the base of the huge 15-story water tower in the center of his signature Mistlin Sports Park on River Road east of Jack Tone Road.
Some 35 members of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, along with construction contractors and city officials gathered in the dining room area for a brief celebration that marked the end of a yearlong project to provide a way for softball fans to watch games on closed circuit TVs and also make use of a new elevator that will take them to the second and third floor balconies for a bird’s eye view of the entire park while eating their lunches or snacks.
And in the coming months another gift from Mistlin to his beloved Ripon will start construction — an indoor soccer arena that will be built along River Road at the park.
The lighting of the tower provides a stunning view of the facility during the nighttime games at the facility seen from River and Jack Tone roads.
Ripon Mayor Dean Uecker spoke on Mistlin’s continued support of the community from its water features in town to the development of the sports park that will see ground broken in the next month for an indoor soccer arena. Mistlin’s most recent land purchases for the sports park during the past 10 years were 20 acres to the west and another 20 acres in almonds to the west.
Tongue in cheek, Uecker said he had taken the framed color photo of the tower that he was presenting to Mistlin from above in the police department’s aerial unit. Along with the mayor were three other city council members thanking Mistlin once again for his involvement in the community.
DeGraff Construction and Development president Chad DeGraff caused Mistlin to tear up when he presented him with a framed jersey with the number 16, designating the year the project got off the ground in the tower. DeGraff said the walls of the dining room are still pretty bare and the framed jersey needs to go up on the wall.
The spacious dining area that covers the ground floor will tie into the already established Gala’s Café kitchen where sports fans can gather and eat their lunches or dinner choices while watching their players on the four softball fields circling the water tower over closed circuit televisions.
The Modesto Honda dealer showed an inner excitement that his two daughters, Gala and Melody along with his son Gary, were on hand to join him for the event that drew many Ripon business owners and city officials.
The Gala Café was named in honor of his daughter and the new indoor soccer field is being named after Melody.
Mistlin Sports Park is a favorite destination for weekend soccer tournaments from throughout northern California as well as many coming from the Bay Area on both Saturdays and Sundays.
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