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Tyson gives $20,000 to Friends of Youth

Tyson Foods in Corydon has given the Friends of Harrison County Youth $20,000 for its summer baseball and softball program. With the donation, Tyson earns the right to name a field for 10 years, joining First Harrison and Community First banks who have already given sizeable donations and thus earned naming rights.
‘We are excited about the prospect of the youth of our area playing on Tyson Foods Field for many years to come,’ said Friends president Andy Lasky. ‘Friends of Harrison County Youth is deeply appreciative of Tyson Foods’ continuing support, and we applaud Tyson for being such a great community partner.’
Tyson Foods has been a partner for years, supporting the Friends’ baseball and softball programs at Rice Island Playground in Corydon with donations of chicken for opening day events and fund-raisers. Tyson has also sponsored teams and scoreboard signs.
‘The Tyson Foods team members are proud to be part of the effort to bring the Gov. Frank O’Bannon Park to reality, and we’re glad to be a partner of the Friends of Harrison County Youth,’ said David Whittington, who manages the Tyson Foods complex in Corydon.
Seven baseball diamonds and an air-conditioned fieldhouse for concessions, bathrooms, umpires’ room and meeting rooms will be constructed at the 16.4-acre O’Bannon Park adjacent to the Harrison County YMCA in Corydon. The YMCA facility is on schedule to open the first of July.
Lasky said the Friends are still in the bidding and subcontractor selection process. The diamonds are expected to be ready for play in the summer of 2005. League play will continue this summer at Rice Island.
When the park was named in honor of the late Gov. Frank L. O’Bannon, Whittington appealed to his corporate office in Springdale, Ark., to be part of another community project here, and Tyson responded ‘with full support,’ Whittington said. Springdale came up with $15,000, and the Corydon operation provided $5,000.
There is still time for other organizations or individuals to donate money for field construction and field-naming rights, Lasky said.
Lasky said the Friends hope O’Bannon Park will be a magnet for regional and state tournaments and boost the local tourist industry. ‘That’s why we will be partnering later with the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau,’ he said.
In addition to Lasky, the other volunteer members of the Friends’ board of directors are Ken Bartley, Randy Brightman, Kevin Burton, Dr. Chris Day, John Ellett, Brian Keinsley, Mick Saulman, Kim Frederick, Rodney Shehorn, David Troupe, Brenda Uhl, Allen Wise and Eric Yates.