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Ballot initiative is about children, opportunities

To this day, I still remember the conversation Stephanie and I had four years ago about the possibility of Sarah Cameron playing softball.

We didn’t really know if she would enjoy it, but felt it would be good for her to get out there, compete and learn the game.

I remember walking into the office of the City of Selma Parks and Recreation Department and filling out the registration form and paying the registration fee.

It wasn’t long after that we learned which team she would be on, went to her first practice and received her first jersey.

From that moment on, softball was no longer a game, a noun. It became a verb; as we now say, “we softball.”

The enjoyment she gets from the game is thrilling to her mother and me. The joy she gets from getting up on Saturday morning and traveling to Monroe, Clinton, Brandon or Bazinsky Park here in Vicksburg, just warms the soul.

Maybe it is for those reasons that I have become so passionate about the quality of facilities and the opportunities for youth in Vicksburg. Stephanie and I, along with parents like us, know the effort, the commitment made by the children, the volunteers and the parents.

Having facilities and opportunities to match that passion is important. 

Just this weekend, we spent a lot of time — and money — in Monroe for a softball tournament. We spent Saturday and Sunday at the ballpark at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, watching Sarah Cameron and her Mississippi Blaze teammates compete in six games.

In between, we enjoyed the fare at the concession stand, went to lunch in town and then stayed overnight at a hotel. I purposely asked Stephanie not to add up how much we spent — or the money spent by my in-laws and friends who also made the trip — as I didn’t want to know.

And, we were just one family.

The tournament featured dozens of teams from throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Each traveled with a convoy of parents and supporters, each doing like we did, spending money in Monroe.

The future of the sports complex in Vicksburg now rests with a June 6 ballot initiative.

While I live just outside of the city limits, and will not be able to vote in the municipal election or in the initiative, the success or failure of the ballot initiative is very important.

Ballpark parents understand the economic impact a facility like this sports complex can have, because we have for years provided the economic impact to other cities, other counties. It would be nice for Vicksburg to reap those rewards.

For us, the joy we have watching our daughter play ball does not come with a price tag. It is priceless.

Also priceless is the opportunity such a complex could provide our youth and our community.

Tim Reeves is publisher of The Vicksburg Post. His email is tim.reeves@vicksburgpost.com.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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