"What people need to realize, is this is a grant project," said Willett. "We do the work as we get grants to do so."
Willett and Karen Coffman, a member of the Recreation Complex Committee, met on Wednesday, May 23 to ask for assistance with organizing fundraisers for the Fulton County Recreation Complex.
"Right now, most grants available are matching grants, meaning we have to match every dollar we receive in either matching funds or in-kind labor. We have the fields in and fenced, and now we are focused on generating revenue, by adding a concession stand."
Willett explained that, if the County goes through the grant process to obtain a concession stand, the cost could be well over $100,000. He instead suggested that a concession stand could be built for closer to $15,000 if the community pitched in to help build it.
"I think we have enough talented individuals in our community -- plumbers, electrical and so on -- that if we could have folks donate their time and skills, we could do this much more cost effectively. We just need the help," said Willett.
Coffman added that water and electrical lines have been run out to the fields, and just need to be hooked up. She suggested that perhaps a temporary electrical hook-up could be provided to allow a temporary concession area to be set up.
"The important thing to know is, we welcome fundraisers of any kind to keep this project moving to completion," said Coffman. "You don't need our permission to have a fundraiser that supports the complex."
Chamber member Holly Pate offered to team up with fellow member Terry Harris to organize a baseball tournament fundraiser at the complex.
Harris, who manages a local All-Star team, noted that most entry fees for tournaments range from $150 to $200 per team, plus admission sales for family and friends, and concession sales during the event. He estimated close to $2,000 could be raised from a single tournament, if not more.
"At a recent tournament we attended in West Plains, family members -- parents -- of the team receiving the funds from the fundraiser volunteered as umpires and line judges, saving on costs," said Harris.
Two other additions to the Complex that were discussed were bleachers and restrooms.
"The restrooms at the U-Pump in Glencoe are actually port-a-potty type restrooms, and they're quite nice and clean," said Chamber member Mary Sanders.
Carolyn Lewis noted that the new restrooms built at the Fairgrounds cost around $15,000.
As for the bleachers, Judge Willett said that an estimate had come in for aluminum bleachers at about $2,600 for each field, or a total of around $10,000 for the entire complex.
"Field sponsor signs are ready to be hung and will be up soon," said Coffman. "We are also still selling the commemorative bricks for $50 to help raise funds. Anyone interested can contact me at the courthouse to place an order."
Ken Harper of Legacy Hospice asked about organizations outside of the county possibly renting the fields for tournaments, thus generating some much needed revenue.
"I can see teams from outside our immediate area wanting nice fields to play on. Have you developed a rate structure for renting the fields?" asked Harper.
Coffman noted that a formal structure had not been set yet, but that one could be put together by the committee.
"The important thing to get across is that we need the help, and we need to get the word out," said Coffman.