Large donation is big hit for tiny community

A large anonymous donation has nearly fulfilled a campaign in a tiny central Indiana community to rebuild baseball fields that host a thriving youth league—a league with nearly as many players as the town has residents.

Amo has only 422 people, but its Cascade Youth League serves more than 300 players, from 3-year-olds to middle-schoolers. Young athletes have played baseball and softball at diamonds in the Hendricks County community for four decades, but the park is deteriorating and floods easily.

Thanks to the recent gift of $750,000, Cascade has accumulated $1 million toward transformation of four diamonds and construction of a new concession stand. The organization has raised $250,000 and hopes to raise the final $200,000 of the $1.2 million total at an event March 8 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex.

The $750,000 gift was donated to Hendricks County Community Foundation, which will direct it to Cascade Youth League. It is the largest grant in the history of the foundation.

The donor requested anonymity due to his faith, said William Rhodehamel, president and CEO of Hendricks County Community Foundation, which is handling the grant. However, Rhodehamel added, it is well known that the donor for many years coached alongside Brian Burch, a former local baseball and softball coach whose name will be on the new facility.

“We are thrilled to be part of this important project,” Rhodehamel said. “The Brian Burch Memorial Sports Park will have a positive impact on young people in our community for generations.”

Not only will the four fields be renovated, but drainage will be improved to minimize the flooding. When the project is complete, the complex will be more useable.

“This project will have an incredible impact on the lives of so many kids,” said Cascade President Nic Allen. “The facility will be an anchor in our community.”

The property is north of Mill Creek West Elementary School and owned by Mill Creek Community School Corp. Ground is expected to be broken in June, with construction completed in September.

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