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News Release
For Immediate Release
Date:  July 5, 2006
Contact: Jared W. Johnson
Nehlsen Communications
Email:  jared@ncpr.com
Phone:  517-374-1071
Fax:  309-736-1073


MOLINE, IL–This summer hundreds of girls under ten, and thousands of their parents, will journey to Green Valley Park in Moline, IL to compete in the A.S.A National Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Softball Tournament.   The Moline Park and Recreation Board has done a lot to prepare for their arrival, but one addition has taken on a special meaning.  Harlon Wheatly, who during his lifetime served both as the President of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 25 and the Quint Cities' Metro Umpires' Association, will be honored this summer as Local 25 donates the plumbing supplies and labor necessary to construct a new umpires locker room.

When the Park and Recreations Board began to prepare for the tournament, one of the things Green Valley Park lacked according to ASA regulations was a locker room facility for the umpires.  One option was to erect tents for the duration of the tournament.  However, the recent construction of two new concessions stands had left the old concessions stand available for demolition or renovation.  Moline Park Director Milt Hand decided that this was the perfect opportunity to create a more permanent solution by turning the old concessions stand into a public restroom and permanent umpire's locker room.

Getting the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 25 involved was a natural next step, since both the current Umpire's Association president, Dennis Mesick, and its previous president, Harlon Wheatly, were members of the union.  "Harlon was a good friend," Dennis said, reminiscing about how Harlon had gotten him started with both his vocation and his avocation.  "I did my apprenticeship under him at the Local 25, and he got me into umpiring softball."  As a result of this relationship between Local 25 and the Umpires' Association, and in honor of Harlon Wheatly who passed away in 1999, the Plumbers and Pipefitters of Local 25 are donating the plumbing materials and labor necessary for the renovation.  The labor will be provided by volunteer Local 25 apprentices working at the ballpark during their off-hours and overseen by Dennis Mesick.  "They will be installing all new automatic toilets and handicapped accessible toilets in the restroom area and then also the showering facilities in the umpire's changing area," explained Park Director Milt Hand.

This project is slated to be done and available for use during the 2006 USA/ASA Girls' Class A 10-Under Fast Pitch National Tournament which begins on July 31st.  The new umpire's locker room will be an exciting upgrade for Moline's Green Valley Park, and a fitting way for the Plumbers and Pipefitters of Local 25 to honor their former president.

For photographs of the construction process, please visit www.ncpr.com/greenvalley.  If you would like to schedule your own photo shoot or request interviews, please contact Jared Johnson at (309) 736-1071.