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Tag Archive | "friends of Skinner Field"

Vandals smash toilets, burn flag in sink at Skinner Field


This smashed toilet is just one of the many things destroyed in a break-in at the Skinner Field locker room over the weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Vandals struck again at Skinner Field last week, and this time it was not about stealing candy bars.

According to Shawn Kiphart, President of the Friends of Skinner Field, the concession stand and locker room were both targets recently in two different incidents. First was the concession stand, early last week. Kiphart said they dumped chemicals (cleaning supplies) on the floor, then put paper on it and tried to burn it. Then this past Sunday, they discovered the locker room had been broken into. And it was far more destructive.

Vandals burned a flag in the sink in the locker room. Courtesy photo.

According to Kiphart, the locker room has large steel doors that you cannot get into, so the suspect(s) broke out a small daylight window that sits about seven feet off the ground. Nothing appeared to be stolen, but the vandals smashed and destroyed toilets, urinals, 11 new first aid kits, showerheads, football equipment and more. Two of the toilets were brand new. They also burned a flag in the sink. 

“In years past, it was very obvious that the break-ins were more about mischief and kids getting in there to get candy,” remarked Kiphart. “But this was far more vicious. They were in there to destroy it.” 

More damage at Skinner Field. Courtesy photo.

Kiphart estimates the damage was $2,000 to $3,000.

The Friends of Skinner field Board and Cedar Youth Football League have set up a gofundme account to raise money for the repairs and losses they suffered from these latest break-ins, as well as to upgrade security and maintain the complex. Please visit their page at: 

https://www.gofundme.com/skinner-field-fund

If anyone has any information about this case, please contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345, or download the Silent Observer app for your phone, and use it to contact them. They will then pass on your tip to the Kent County Sheriff Department.

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Locker rooms at Skinner Field vandalized


 

By Judy Reed

Vandals have once again taken aim at Skinner Field, this time vandalizing the outside of the locker room with graffiti.

According to Jerry Gross, a member of Friends of Skinner Field, the damage was discovered Wednesday, March 29. He said it cannot be washed off, and will need to be repainted. No one reported seeing the crime.

“They (the vandals) are defacing public property,” said Gross. “Skinner Field belongs to the City, and we oversee the property and are trying to keep it nice. We would really like to ask for the public’s assistance with that.”

The Skinner Field concession stand and several outbuildings were also broken into last fall. No one reported hearing anything at that time either, though there would’ve been some noise to break open the back door. The suspects were caught after police distributed surveillance footage of them that was taken inside the concession stand.

Why is Skinner Field important?

The short answer is that it is a piece of Cedar Springs history and worth preserving.

Skinner Field was named after J.A. (Bert) Skinner, a leading citizen and businessman. He owned Skinner’s Drug Store, which was located at 43 S. Main Street, the vacant lot where we now hold the Christmas tree lighting. According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, Skinner started work at the age of 13 in a local drug store, and later set a record as the youngest person to pass the state pharmaceutical board. He was given his pharmaceutical license when he turned 18.

Skinner served as village president for 25 years, and was president of the board of education for 25 years. He was a state senator for two terms, and involved in Republican politics all during his life. On Friday, July 6, 1948, the Village of Cedar Springs paid tribute to Bert Skinner, and part of the tribute was the dedication of Cedar Springs Public School’s lighted athletic field, on the west side of Morley Park.

In 1991, a gift was given to the school district, to construct a running track at the field. An agreement signed by both the school and city made it available for both school athletic events and the community to run on. It was created partly on school property and partly on city property, with the school district responsible for maintenance for a period of 99 years, or until they relocated the field and running track, which they did, in the mid-2000s, when they built Red Hawk Stadium. The City later took ownership, but did not have the money to maintain it. The Friends of Skinner Field was formed, and they have renovated the field, which hosts many athletic events, including Rocket football.

If you see or hear anything suspicious at Skinner Field, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department by calling 911. If you know anything about the vandalism, you may contact non-emergency dispatch at (616) 632-6100 and ask for an officer to take a report.

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Music Festival, Games, and Family Fun For Team Brison


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Saturday, October 15

Would you like to have some great family fun and contribute to a good cause at the same time? Come on out to Skinner Field at Morley Park on Saturday, October 15, from noon to 5 p.m., for the Music Festival, Games and Family Fun event put on by Team Brison, to help raise funds for local teen Brison Ricker, who is suffering from a brain tumor.

This event will have a dunk tank for the kids who attend to dunk some of their favorite (or not so favorite) teachers and faculty (if the weather is warm enough). There will be live musical performances by the band Mane Street, Four Soldiers, The Larson Brothers, and others. The Grilling Company is donating Barbeque with sides (asking donations to Team Brison for the meal). Drinks and concessions will be sold at the Skinner Field Concession stand. Team Ensley will have a hot air balloon there for people to get into and check out. En Gedi will have bubble balls for bubble soccer from 12 to 3 p.m. There will be a cake walk, raffle items, auction items (Deer Mount, Carbon Fiber Arrows, Ice Fishing Pole, Michigan State tickets, and more), vendors, face painting, three legged race, and more.

Tickets are $5.00 if you purchase them ahead of time at eventbrite.com or $10 at the gate. To buy them ahead of the event visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/music-festival-games-and-family-fun-for-team-brison-tickets-27171816635

Brison Ricker is living with a rare and often deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine glioma (DIPG). With the help of medical professionals and advancements in medicine, he is battling his way through but needs more treatments.
The friends of Skinner Field have donated the use of their facilities for Team Brison to host a fundraiser for Brison and his family to help with medical costs.
They can use a few more volunteers to help make this fundraiser event a success. If you would like to help out please call Perry at 616-439-0890.
If you would like to be a vendor at the event please contact Amanda at 616-240-3174.

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