Janesville47.1°

Kilar memorial ballpark still in running for funds

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Kevin Hoffman
January 25, 2011
— By next week, Treyton Kilar's Field of Dreams could be $250,000 closer to becoming reality.

The project Monday afternoon remained in second place in the Pepsi Refresh Project, competing with more than 1,100 ideas to win funding. The top two receive the award, which would provide more than half the funding needed to build a new baseball diamond in Kilar's name.


"Anxiousness," said Amie Alvarado, a Kilar family friend describing their emotions during the final week of voting. "Everyone is certainly hopeful and praying for the best, because with this voting anything can happen on any given day.


"Certainly everyone that I know is telling everyone they know so we're certainly hopeful."


The last day for voting is Monday, and winners will be announced the following day.


Kilar, 6, of Whitewater was killed Sept. 2 when a vehicle driven by a man suspected of being drunk crashed into the car driven by Kilar's father. Scott Dragotta, 44, of East Troy is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.


Since then, family and friends have raised about $60,000 through private donations and fundraisers to construct a new 225- to 250-foot ballpark at Starin Park, complete with concrete dugouts, bleachers and a scoreboard.


The project's estimated cost is close to $475,000.


Kilar was an avid baseball fan who dreamed of playing professionally. John Vodenlich, UW-Whitewater baseball coach, helped the family create a design "worthy of Treyton's legacy."


"It will be a safe place where families can get together to play sports and a reminder of the consequences of reckless behavior," said Kilar's mother, Mary Kilar.


Plans for Kilar's Field of Dreams also could call for lighting and a restroom and concessions building, depending on available funding.


The Treyton Kilar Benefit Concert and other events raised about $10,000 last fall. The UW-Whitewater athletics department hosted its own event in January with Kids Day, raising another $3,200 through donations and raffles.


Mary Kilar is a UW-Whitewater alumna and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.


If the project slips from the top two Pepsi Refresh Project positions, organizers have the option of resubmitting the idea for another round of voting, Alvarado said. That could take place in April.


Alvarado said they have not yet begun exploring other funding options if the Pepsi grant doesn't come through, but they will continue to seek support for the park.


Dragotta is being held at the Walworth County Jail after pleading not guilty and requesting a jury trial. His next court appearance is in February, and his trial is scheduled for early March.


FIELD OF DREAMS

Organizers hoping to get $250,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project for Treyton Kilar's Field of Dreams project say the money will be used in the following ways:


-- $100,000 for site grading and artificial turf


-- $75,000 for stadium lighting


-- $30,000 for a brick backstop, netting and fencing.


-- $24,000 for erosion control, utility connections, site amenities and contingency.


-- $10,000 for concrete block dugouts


-- $5,500 for a scoreboard


-- $5,500 for bleachers


HOW TO VOTE

Anyone who wants to vote for Treyton Kilar's Field of Dreams project can do so three times per day by:


-- Texting 105500 to the number 73774. Note: this number has been corrected from an earlier version of the story.

-- Visiting Pepsi Refresh on Facebook and voting through the online application.


-- Visiting pepsirefresh.com and registering with your e-mail address before voting.

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