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Something for everyone: Ballpark fundraiser Saturday at Kilkarney

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Ever wonder what it’s like to be a NASCAR driver? Would you like to hunt pheasants in South Dakota, or go fishing in Louisiana? Are you a Toby Keith country music fan?

While this Saturday’s River Falls Baseball Council’s Baseball Bash is all about closing the fundraising gap for the new First National Bank of River Falls Field at Hoffman Park, there will be more than just baseball on the agenda when the event gets underway at 5 p.m. at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course.

Among the silent and live auction items, raffle prizes and giveaways are a variety of items ranging from hunting and fishing packages to Minnesota Twins tickets.

Racing fans will find a NASCAR Driving Experience that includes two days of classroom and behind-the-wheel training, including driving an actual NASCAR car, at one of 11 race tracks across the country.

A South Dakota Guided Pheasant Hunt at SouthFork Hunting lodge in Dallas, S.D. and a fishing trip with Cook’n It Wyld Style TV show host Shane “Net Man” Barker in Louisiana will also be up for auction.

Music lovers can find a Toby Keith signed guitar and four tickets to Winstock Country Music Festival June 13-14 in Winsted, Minn., or Tim McGraw and Montgomery Gentry signed guitars. 

Hockey fans can bid on a 1980 Team USA Miracle on Ice signed Neal Broten jersey.

Of course there will be plenty of baseball memorabilia as well, including an autographed Ryan Braun jersey, signed baseballs from Dave Winfield, Kent Hrbek, John Smoltz, Wade Boggs and Fernando Valenzuela, a bat signed by Rod Carew, and even six bottles of Tommy Lasorda wine.

Many of the items up for auction or that will be offered as prizes Saturday night are currently on display in the First National Bank of River Falls lobby, 104 East Locust St.

Baseball Bash organizers are hoping to raise $15,000 at the event to meet the $800,000 total cost of construction.

Opening night at First National Bank of River Falls Field will feature a game between the facility’s two primary tenants — The River Falls Fighting Fish amateur team against the American Legion Post 121 team — Friday, June 13, at 7 p.m. The ballpark will host over 70 amateur, Legion and youth baseball games this summer.

The Baseball Bash will begin this Saturday, May 10, with a social hour from 5-6 p.m., followed by dinner featuring ballpark fare, raffles, silent and live auctions, games and speakers until 9 p.m. Former Minnesota Twins player and coach Al Newman will be the featured speaker.

Tickets for the bash are $20 in advance for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under. Tickets are available at First National Bank, Field of Dreams (125 ½ North Main Street) or online at

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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