Kilar field supporters hope for spring groundbreaking
Supporters of the memorial youth baseball field are surging ahead with fundraising efforts after winning a significant contribution through the Pepsi Refresh Project. People were asked to vote on their favorite projects, and the top 10 leaders at the end of the September received funding.
The Kilar proposal finished second. Results are expected to become official Sunday, Oct. 23.
"It was amazing to see the willingness by so many family members, friends and the community members to work together and find ways to get this project into the top 10," said Mary Kilar, Treyton's mother. "We aren't going to let this opportunity pass us by again. We were all determined to earn the $50,000 in order to get us one step closer to building the field and making this a reality."
Treyton, 6, was killed Sept. 2, 2010, when a drunken driver crashed into a car driven by his father at Highway 20 and County N in Walworth County. Scott Dragotta, 45, was found guilty on 14 criminal charges and later sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Kilar's family and friends for the last year raised money to help build a youth baseball field in his name. The field includes a 225- to 250-foot fence, dugouts, lighting, batting cages and about 145 parking stalls.
The estimated cost is $474,000, and so far nearly $200,000 has been donated. That doesn't include the latest grant, which would push fundraising more than halfway to its goal.
Matt Amundson, Whitewater's parks and recreation director, said he plans to meet soon with businesses that pledged services or materials for the project. That could lower the cost.
Amie Alvarado, a member of the fundraising committee, said organizers continue to arrange local charity events, including the "Run for Trey!" 5K run or walk Sunday, Oct. 16, in Whitewater.
They're also working with larger organizations to secure additional contributions, Alvarado said.
This is the third time Treyton's Field of Dreams was submitted to the Pepsi Refresh Project for funding. The first attempt fell short of a $250,000 grant, and the second was rejected because the application didn't fulfill all the requirements.
Groundbreaking at Starin Park in Whitewater could be in spring or early summer, Amundson said. Organizers do not need to raise the full amount by then.
The project has yet to go before the city council for approval.