By Tim Eberly
Stockman Bank recently lightened the workload not to mention the stress level of the Havre Youth Baseball Association for the next decade.
The bank, which opened its Havre branch last June, donated $4,000 on Monday for the refurbishing of Legion Field's bleachers.
"This is going to help us out tremendously," said Gordy Thompson, vice president and treasurer of the baseball association. "It's going to save us money that we would have had to raise over the next 10 years for repairs."
The association is planning to apply a rubberized acrylic coating to the wooden bleachers, which will "hopefully give us another 10 years of life out of them because the weather is so hard on the wood," Thompson said.
Prior to the donation, Thompson said, the association had painted the bleachers every year, as well as repeatedly repairing damage caused by the weather.
The goal is to complete the project by June 6, the start date of the four-day Havre Northstar Baseball Jamboree tournament, Thompson said.
The bleachers are located behind home plate, and seat between 50 and 75 people.
"We just feel it's an investment into the youth of the community, and it goes to a good cause," said Chuck Wimmer, manager of Stockman Bank. "We're always looking out for different things. If it's a worthy cause. ... we'll definitely take a look at it."
Wimmer said the bank first considered donating money for the purchase of a new scoreboard, but the parties later agreed on the bleacher project.
In the last nine months, Stockman Bank has donated $2,500 for a park being built behind Northern Montana Hospital, and the same amount to sponsor a scorer's table at Montana State University-Northern athletic events.
Also in the works for the baseball association is the construction of a $5,000 metal garage to hold the two Havre baseball teams' bus and equipment.