Ever since its opening in 2015, the LaRoche Baseball Complex has been used by the city of Fort Scott and USD 234 to bring visitors to town as well as host local events for the community’s benefit.
The complex will continue with that goal by hosting the second annual Wounded Warrior Classic Sunday Funday event July 3, starting at 6 p.m. at the Dave Regan Stadium.
“This is a very special place,” Coach Josh Regan said of the facilities during the weekly Chamber Coffee hosted at the complex Thursday. “It’s not lost on us, the opportunity we’ve been given.”
Regan said their goal is to take advantage of that opportunity by being a blessing to the community with events such as the upcoming one recognizing veterans and military members for their sacrifices and heroism, hopefully inspiring the young people present for the baseball games and other activities.
“We want to make it really family-friendly,” Regan said of the Independence Day event. “I think it’s just going to be awesome. We want there to be something for everybody.”
Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, festivities will kick off with baseball games between 12 local and out-of-town high school teams, with some traveling in from out of state. Games will continue on Sunday and Monday starting at the same time, with games being played at the Dave Regan Stadium and Lyons Field at Fort Scott Community College. This year those teams will consist of athletes 18 and under, as opposed to 16 and under as it was the previous year.
Other activities will include a fireworks display after dark sponsored by Briggs Auto Group and other local businesses, a bounce house and inflatable obstacle course for children, an E3 Meat hamburger stand, other concession stands, t-shirts for sale, a beer garden provided by Bourbon County Shriners and a country music concert performed by Luke Axtell and Friends. The event is expected to be done prior to midnight with alcohol sales ceasing before then.
Combat veteran Brian Keaton will also be on hand to speak at about 8 p.m. Sunday, after the final baseball game, on behalf of military men and women and the Wounded Warrior Project, which Adam LaRoche has held a strong connection with over the years.
“He’s got an amazing story,” Regan said of the speaker.
Already, tickets are on sale for $5 at the Chamber of Commerce, Bids & Dibs and Country Cupboard. Admission can also be paid for at the gate. Children under five years of age and veterans and active military members can attend for free. Proceeds will be donated to the Lone Survivor Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.
Regan said he hopes the event will continue on in years to come and only increase in size and its impact.
In their most recent meeting, the Fort Scott City Commission gave permission for alcoholic beverages to be sold on the city facility’s property as well as fireworks to be set off for the event, expressing their support for the cause.
Regan also mentioned that each weekend this summer, a tournament will be hosted at the complex and they are looking into holding some there in the fall as well so it does not go unused. During those months, as many as hundreds of visitors will come to Fort Scott, fulfilling the complex’s goal, as Regan referred to it, of being a fountain in the community and not a drain.
City Manager Dave Martin also gave an update on the project to begin construction on a second entrance from Highway 69 both to the complex and the industrial park. Work on the $1 million Kansas Department of Transportation and Fort Scott project is underway.