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Halloween event scheduled for Jemison Dixie Ball Field

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith/ Community Columnist

Jemison Youth Athletics (JYA) will host a Halloween Bash at Jemison Dixie Youth Ball Field, 820 Guy Street, on October 31, from 1-6 p.m.

The organization will host a variety of activities for the community including slides, bouncy houses, balloon animal shaping, cake walk, face painting, vendor shopping, hourly raffle giveaways and Trunk or Treat. All of the activities are free except the cake walk, which is $1 per play.

Applications for vendor space, to enter the chili cook-off or the corn-hole tournament are available. Additional fees apply. There will be a $250 cash prize for the winner of the chili cook-off.

JYA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the community to play sports. The Jemison Dixie Youth Ball Field is maintained by the organization and a board of directors.

“All of the proceeds from this event will go to maintaining the ball field for the community,” said Patrick Smitherman, event organizer. “We have recently renovated the park with $20,000 worth of repairs. Our older building needed a new roof. We have put up new fencing, painted the buildings and put new siding on them. We have also added things to help keep our community be safer, like contactless soap dispensers in the bathrooms. We want the community to be proud. JYA is not affiliated with the City of Jemison so hosting the Halloween Bash helps us raise the money to maintain the community park’s needs and power bills.”

Smitherman also hopes the Halloween Bash brings awareness to continue renovations at the park.

“We would like to designate the older building at the park for football and cheering,” said Smitherman. “The newer building would be exclusively for baseball and softball.  Our hope is that these groups could eventually store their equipment within the building without having to share the space with other sporting groups. If we raise enough money, we would love to even purchase items like new helmets, which can cost $110 each.”

The event’s organizers are taking cautionary measures to minimalize any contact or spread of COVID-19. Masks are required. Vendors will be spaced greater than six feet apart and all four ball fields will be used. Individuals will have the option of tattoo stickers for those that do not want the close exposure of face painting. Two-hundred cakes have also been donated by Impact Catering and Design instead of families donating cakes in order to lessen exposure.

“The JYA Board of Directors want this to be a community park and bring people together,” said Smitherman. “We want the community to be proud of this space. This is your park. We hope that this is the first of many community events to be held in the park that isn’t necessarily sports-related.”

To register for the chili cook-off contact Haley Smith at (205) 955-2720. To register your group for the corn-hole tournament contact Lucas Kuykendall at (678) 773-9360. To register for vendor spacing contact Savanah Shaw at (205) 688-6401. For general information, contact Patrick Smitherman at (205) 299-1157.