WEST LAFAYETTE -- The long awaited, new ball field at West Lafayette is now official, having been welcomed by the community with a special dedication ceremony, May 20. The ceremony was well attended by the community which included Rotary officials, Mayor Jack Patterson, several village council member, and members of the Ridgewood Recreation Board.

According to Ridgewood Recreation Board President Janet Michael, the new ball field already has 30 ball teams for the 2009 summer schedule. The Ridgewood Recreation program is a summer baseball and softball program that has been supported by the Coshocton County United Way since 1951.

Michael said the "ball field dream plan" originated from suggestions of the Ridgewood Recreation members, then with the closing of the Fresno school, which had three ball fields that were used by Ridgewood Recreation.

"The dream plan went into overdrive. Endless phone calls, volunteer hours, and much hard work have led us to where we are today," she said.

Michael specially thanked the Village of West Lafayette, Larry Cornelius, Bob Nelson, West Lafayette Rotary, as well as local citizens and businesses that gave donations for the project.

Rotary member Bob Nelson also thanked Carl and Todd Cognion and Alan McCormick for their assistance. Charles Easter was also remembered. Easter passed away before the project was completed.

"He (Easter) was here whenever we needed him, bringing his tractor and backhoe," Nelson said. "This whole thing is about community togetherness. It wasn't about publicity, people just showed up to help."

Amy Hasseman, executive director of the Coshocton County United Way, said, "This program is a prime example of how individuals can work together. Our community is so fortunate to have so many dedicated people."

The total cost for the ball field project, which includes six dugouts, was a little under $5,000, according to Nelson.

The ball field is located at the end of Water Street, near the village water treatment plant.

Local officials, including West Lafayette Mayor Jack Patterson, officially cut the ribbon for the ball field in the village.