Tom Fontaine Park just hit a home run, not only with a grant, but now has the support from a major baseball team. The park will see some major upgrades.
Driving by Tom Fontaine Park in west Macon, you see it is in bad shape, but a $50,000 grant from Scotts and the Atlanta Braves is going to help transform the park. Freddie Stewart grew up in Macon and has overseen the park for more than 2 decades.
"I became a part of the president in 1983, and at the time I came, it was only this one field, and during my tenure, we were able to build the lower field and the field house you see behind me," Stewart said
When Stewart started at the park, it was often packed with Little League kids, but the field and bleachers are empty these days.
"At one time, this park really flourished. We had over 600 kids, now we're down to about 283 kids," Stewart said.
The park is close to Matilda Hartley Elementary School and near a large neighborhood. Stewart hopes the upgrades bring the community back out.
"I'm pretty sure they will be proud of it, they will come back out and enjoy the game. It will be a great pastime for everybody," Stewart said.
Especially the kids, and George McCanless with United Way is hoping kids will benefit outside the lines.
"Through participating through team activities, it also gives us the opportunity to work with these children on their education," McCanless said.
With students improving in the classroom, Stewart hopes kids will return to play ball once the field is remodeled.
"These kids will come back to our park and play here, and like I said, once again, we will flourish and get 4 or 500 kids back in this program," Stewart said.
The park is expected to open by mid-April.