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Check out CEO Mark Rand and Capital Campaign Chair Jim Packard, Jr. on WCLO.  They spent some time with Tim Bremel giving an update on our current Capital Campaign.  Visit our Campaign page to learn more and donate today!

Beloit Snappers auction off stadium naming rights

BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) – The Beloit Snappers are set to make minor league baseball history and the biggest winner will be the Stateline areas Boys and Girls Club.

For every remaining home game at Pohlman Field, the Snappers are auctioning off the naming right of the ballpark. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the naming rights through MILB auctions leading up to each game in 2021 at the stadium with a minimum bid of $500.

The winning bidder will be able to choose the stadium’s name for the night, get eight tickets, be interviewed on the radio broadcast and even lead Take Me Out to the Ball Game with proceeds benefitting the local Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s just a unique situation here with half the season here before we move crosstown into the new river bend stadium. There will be an announcement about our naming rights partner over there soon enough. I just think a very clever idea highlighting the almost 40 years playing at Pohlman Field and more importantly helping the mission here with Stateline Boys and Girls Club,” Jeff Jurgella, President of the Beloit Snappers said.

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.

Beloit Snappers to give fans a chance to name the stadium–and for a good cause

BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) – If you’ve ever wanted to have a stadium named after you, the Beloit Snappers are giving you the chance.

Fore every remaining home game at Pohlman Field this season, the Snappers are auctioning off the naming rights to the new ballpark.

This will be the first time in professional baseball history that a stadium’s name will be up for auction, to raise money for the Stateline Boys and Girls Club.

“Exciting, humbling, you know the opportunity to be involved with the Snappers in something like this is tremendous,” said Stateline Boys and Girls Club CEO Mark Rand.

Rand says he was surprised when he got a call from Jeff Jurgella, president of the Beloit Snappers.

“They do amazing things and we’re awfully excited to be a part of that,” said Jurgella.

Especially after a year of challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 obviously slowed things a little bit but we’ve got a lot of great people [and] a lot of community leaders that believe not only in what we’re doing but in our project and what it can do for the community,” Rand said.

The donations from Pohlman Field will help the Boys and Girls club build a new $5.5 million facility in Beloit, as well as making renovations to the building in South Beloit.

“Played a lot of games on this field in high school and prior to high school so it’s just a great opportunity for our clubs our kids and our community as a whole,” said Rand.

Rand says the new facility will provide kids a safe and positive space where they can do homework, get mentoring, and a place for them to create a future for themselves.

“It’s just an opportunity for us to reach more kids. It’s a larger facility in Beloit. It’s more centrally located so it will eliminate some of those transportation issues….Ultimately, it’s to be able to reach more kids and impact the community as a whole,” added Rand.

Officials hope to have construction finished by December.

Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the stadium’s naming rights through MiLB Auctions leading up to each game held at Pohlman Field in 2021. The winning bidder for each game will be able to choose the stadium’s name for the night and will receive eight tickets to the game, two vinyl signs displayed at the stadium featuring their stadium name, public address announcements throughout the game, a radio interview during an inning, inclusion of their stadium name on the team website, the opportunity to lead the singing of the seventh-inning stretch, and a group photo with team mascot Snappy.

“We’re very excited to offer our fans the ultimate ballpark experience in 2021. Our stadium belongs to the community, and there is no better way to show that than letting the fans choose its name each night. For the fan who has always dreamed of having their name up in lights, being able to enjoy a game at YOUR stadium is an unforgettable and unprecedented experience,” team president Jeff Jurgella said.

Game dates will be up for auction beginning today, Wednesday, April 14. The starting price for each auction is $500 dollars and the auction for each game will end a week prior to the date selected.

Fans wanting to secure their date also have a “buy-it-now” option, which is $1,000 for weekday games (Tuesdays-Fridays) or $1,500 for weekend games (Saturdays and Sundays).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Snappers offer fans stadium naming rights

BELOIT—Ever wonder what it would be like to have a baseball stadium named after you?

The Beloit Snappers have the perfect answer for you.

For every home game played at Pohlman Field this coming season, the Snappers are auctioning off the ballpark’s naming rights in an effort to raise money for the Stateline Boys & Girls Club.

Team officials believe it is the first time in professional baseball history that a stadium’s name will be available for auction.

“The Brewers are not the only professional baseball team to have a new naming rights partner in 2021,” team president Jeff Jurgella said. “For the remainder of the season at Pohlman Field, fans will be able to buy the naming rights to the stadium for each game with the net proceeds going to the Stateline Boys & Girls Club.

“Our mission as an organization is to improve the quality of life in our community and helping the Stateline Boys & Girls Club is a great way to make an impact and help youth in our community grow, learn and succeed. The Stateline Boys & Girls Club broke ground on their new facility last week and while construction has commenced they still have a funding gap in their capital campaign that we would like to help close.”

Mark Rand, CEO of the Stateline Boys & GIrls Club, was on hand for the kickoff of the fundraising effort.

“The Snappers have always been a great partner,” Rand said. “The Snappers here locally have always felt the need to reach out in the community and help young people providing tickets, clinics and other ways. Our tagline for our project is building a better future for our community and the Snappers took that and ran with it. We are certainly grateful to Jeff and the Snappers for reaching out to be a part of our campaign. For me personally it is exciting to be out here again. I played a lot of games on this field in high school.”

Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the stadium’s naming rights through MiLB Auction leading up to each game held at Pohlman FIeld in 2021. Game dates went up for auction beginning Wednesday. The starting price for each auction is $500 and the auction for each game will end a week prior to the date selected.

Fans wanting to secure their date also have a “buy-it-now” option, which is $1,000 for weekday games (Tuesday-Friday) or $1,500 for weekend games (Saturday and Sunday).

The winning bidder for each game will be able to choose the stadium’s name for the night and will receive eight tickets to the game, two vinyl signs displayed at the stadium featuring their stadium name, public address announcements throughout the game, a radio interview during an inning, inclusion of their stadium name on the team website, the opportunity to lead the singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the seventh-inning stretch and a group photo with team mascot Snappy.

“We can’t do first pitch in May because of COVID-19 restrictions, but we’re looking forward to that possibly changing later on,” Jurgella said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help a great cause and to have fans become a part of the Snappers farewell season in a way that has never been offered by a team before.”

He said the motivation behind naming rights are endless: an unforgettable birthday gift, an exposure for a business, even a marriage proposal.

“Take her to ‘Will You Marry Me, Jessica? Park,’” Jurgella said. “There are so many fun possibilities and we’re looking forward to seeing them each night at the ballpark.”

Fan-submitted stadium names will be subject to a vetting process by Major League Baseball and the Snappers and potential names can be refused for any reason.

Jurgella said the club sought out the approval of Harry C. Pohlman’s family for the renaming and that his legacy would still be honored. Long-time baseball coach Pohlman was a member of the original Beloit Brewers board of directors.

“The stadium names will have the format of Pohlman Field at Your Name Here Stadium.” Jurgella said.

• UP NEXT: The Snappers begin the 2021 season on May 4 in Appleton against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The home opener is May 11 against the South Bend Cubs.

Boys and Girls Clubs break ground on new facility in Beloit

BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) – After spending nearly 60 years in the same building, leaders at the Stateline Boys and Girls Club hope their new location will be the catalyst for another six decades of sustained success.

A perfect day in Beloit to shovel out the first dirt at the future sight of the Stateline Boys and Girls Clubs. It will be located in the 200 block of Maple Avenue right behind the new School District of Beloit Welcome Center. The City of Beloit donated the new land and CEO Mark Rand says they couldn’t have picked a better location to service the youth of Beloit and South Beloit.

“This checks all those boxes,” Rand said. “It’s more centrally located, it’s part of city center, and it’s right down the street from the high school. Our teen population is just going to explode over the next five years.”

Check out the news piece here.

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.

Ground breaks on new Boys & Girls Club

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | April 6, 2021

BELOIT — “The Club keeps going.”

That’s what Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs Capital Campaign Chair Jim Packard Jr. said after a groundbreaking ceremony held Tuesday at the new Beloit facility at 202 Maple Ave. The momentous day followed the club raising funds during the pandemic while providing programming and distance learning support for children.

Packard commended the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Mark Rand and staff.

“They are unbelievably hard working people and their heart is truly in it,” Packard said.

The groundbreaking was kicked off with a prayer from Pastor Sherrick Anderson, who was part of the capital campaign committee.

Board President Tim Schmiechen said he was excited the club would offer children the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“I can’t imagine a better use for this land,” added Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis-Luther.

In August the Beloit City Council had approved the sale of land to the Stateline Boys & Girls Club for $1, according to an earlier article.

Beloit City Council President Regina Dunkin said the Club was investing in today’s youth to make tomorrow’s leaders.

“You are safe, valued, loved and respected right here at the Boys & Girls Club,” Dunkin said to the children in attendance. “It’s a tremendous asset to the Beloit students and the entire community.”

“It’s a great day in the history of our clubs and our community,” Rand said.

Following the ceremonial turning of the dirt, attendees enjoyed lunches, water and Club T-shirt available for the crowd.

Despite the pandemic, members of the Stateline Boys and Girls Club Capital Campaign forged ahead with the $5.5 million capital campaign aimed at building a new facility in Beloit and upgrading the Stateline Boys & Girls Club site in South Beloit.

In an earlier interview Rand said he is confident in the Clubs’ ability to open the new Beloit facility in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Stateline Boys & Girls Club is building its new Beloit facility at 202 Maple Ave., 1500 Shore Drive and a northern portion of 1459 Sixth St. across from Beloit Memorial High School. The Stateline Boys & Girls Club has 1,200 members, but Club officials expect an increase in membership in coming years.

The current Beloit building is on the far west side of town at 1851 Moore St. The focus will be for the new facility to be more centrally located along the Fourth Street corridor to be closer to community partners, in particular the Beloit Memorial High School’s student population. Not only will the new site expand its reach to teens, but will be more visible and accessible as it will be located on school bus routes.

The new facility would offer expanded STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities, increased teen programming and allow for increased capacity to reach more youth. The center would also allow for community collaborations for career exploration and cooking classes and more.

Boys & Girls Club planning for post-pandemic needs

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | February 25, 2021

BELOIT — As the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs in Beloit and South Beloit forge ahead with a capital plan to build a new facility in Beloit, they are developing a tactical plan to best support the community in a post-pandemic world.

It’s been an unusual year for the club as it’s provided distance learning support for School District of Beloit students during the day in addition to after-school support to area youth.

“This is the first time in Stateline Boys & Girls Club’s 66-year history that we have been open for all-day programming throughout the school year,” said CEO Mark Rand. “When all is said and done, we will have been open for all-day programming for approximately 18 months. This is a true testament to the hearts of our staff. They made it possible.”

From Sept. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, the Beloit club served 129 youth with an average 49 children served per day.

It has been unable to serve 43 children due to capacity limits.

Due to the increased usage of the building, staffing was a challenge as hours increased. Extra costs included staffing, supplies, utilities and technology upgrades.

Members of the Stateline Boys and Girls Club Capital Campaign are forging ahead with the $5.5 million capital campaign aimed at building a new facility in Beloit and upgrading the South Beloit site.

“In spite of the current pandemic, we’ve been able to maintain great momentum in securing pledges and support,” said Campaign Committee Chair Jim Packard Jr. “We are appreciative of the commitments and generosity we’ve seen thus far.”

With groundbreaking planned in early April, Rand said he is confident in the Clubs’ ability to open the new Beloit facility in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Stateline Boys & Girls Club will build its new Beloit facility at 202 Maple Ave., 1500 Shore Drive and a northern portion of 1459 Sixth St. across from Beloit Memorial High School. The current Beloit building is on the far west side of town at 1851 Moore St. The focus will be for the new facility to be more centrally located along the Fourth Street corridor to be closer to community partners, in particular the Beloit Memorial High School’s student population. Not only will the new site expand its reach to teens, but will be more visible and accessible as it will be located on school bus routes.

The new facility would offer expanded STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities, increased teen programming and allow for increased capacity to reach more youth. The center would also allow for community collaborations for career exploration and cooking classes.

The new facility will be 23,780-square-feet compared to its existing space in Beloit of 16,000 square feet which was built in 1960.

The clubs currently have 1,200 total members. With the expanded Beloit facilities, Rand expects the membership could increase by 25-35%.

The Campaign can be followed on the Club’s website www.statelinebgc.org/capital-campaign for updates or to make donations. For more information, contact Rand at 608-365-8874 or [email protected].

Joel Barrett and Beloit Boys Club were synonymous

Jim Franz/Beloit Daily News | October 27, 2020

 BELOIT—Joel Barrett may have left the Beloit Boys & Girls Club 22 years ago, but current Stateline Boys & Girls Club CEO Mark Rand says his imprint remains strong because of the thousands of people he impacted during his 35 years in the city.

“I don’t think you could talk to anyone in Beloit who had dealings with Joel who wouldn’t have nice things to say about him,” Rand said. “He was a great person and his stamp is all over the club, for sure.”

Barrett, who was the Beloit club’s executive director from 1964-99, passed away last month in Kentucky at 82.

Rand said Barrett will be inducted into the Wisconsin Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame next year.

“The honor is long overdue,” said Rand, whose first contact with Barrett came as a youngster attending the club after his parents moved to Beloit in 1979.

Rand is currently helping to oversee a $5.5 million capital campaign drive to fund a new Boys & Girls Club facility in Beloit and upgrade the South Beloit site.

“When we’re out talking to donors we mention that the last capital campaign was over 20 years ago when Joel oversaw it,” Rand said. “He wanted to retire, but the board asked him to stay on to see the campaign through to its completion.”

Barrett did see that $1.9 million capital campaign succeed, allowing for expansion and renovation to the Beloit and South Beloit clubs which were transitioning to becoming Boys & Girls Clubs. He then retired in 1999.

Barrett grew up in Winchester, Indiana, and attended Murray State in Kentucky. His first job was as physical director of the Binghamton (New York) Boys Club. After two years there, he became program director and later executive director of the Lebanon Boys Club in Indiana.

Barrett was 26 years old when he took over the E.J. Dalton Beloit Club in 1964. That was just four years after the club had opened at 1851 Moore St. The Boys Club saw rapid growth in the Stateline Area and the South Beloit Boys Club on Door Road was added in 1969.

Barrett was an active member of the Boys Club Professional Association and served as national president of the group. He was a recipient of the Midwest Region’s Heart and Soul Award in 1981, the Boys Clubs of America Bronze Keystone with Service Bar and the Boys Club’s Professional Association Distinguished Service Award.

Barrett also was active in community, serving on the Beloit Police and Fire Commission and Beloit Noon Kiwanis Club.

Barrett had opportunities to move on during his long stay in Beloit, but he and his wife, Ann, were content here.

“This is the size we like, growing up in a smaller community,” Barrett told the Daily News in 1998. “There have been opportunities to move to larger city Boys Clubs. I guess I just wasn’t interested in big-city life. The Greater Beloit community has been very supportive of our situation. There are a lot of people who understand our mission and what we’re trying to do for the kids.”

Beloit native Tim Wofford, the current Chief Operating Officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Birmingham, Alabama, credits Barrett with giving him an ultimatum that led to his career choice.

An outstanding athlete at Beloit Memorial High School and Western Illinois, Wofford was still chasing a professional football career when Barrett hired him as the Unit Director in Beloit. He had nearly made the roster of the then-St. Louis Cardinals when he broke his foot.

“I felt at the time that I could make it in the NFL if I could just stay healthy,” Wofford said. “When my agent called, I was still going to tryouts with Joel’s permission. But he finally said, and not in a mean way, ‘I’m not into killing anyone’s dreams, but you are going to have to make a decision—football or the Boys Club. It isn’t fair to the kids or your staff there.’ It was a hard decision, but Joel was right. I turned my focus and that’s really how my story began.”

Wofford has been involved with Boys & Girls Clubs for 32 years.

“I’ve never regretted that decision,” he said. “When I began my career, Joel gave me my first opportunity and without his coaching points along the way, I would not be where I am today. I love what I do.”

Barrett, who lived in Kuttawa, Kentucky, passed away Sept. 15. Survivors included Ann, his wife of 61 years, one daughter, Suzanne (Robert) Pollard of Pinehurst, North Carolina, one son, Jordan Barrett of Kuttawa and two grandchildren, Claire Sullivan and Nathan Pollard.

Tony Carr: learn from history and treat others how you want to be treated

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | September 24, 2020

Beloit athletic legend and author Tony Carr likes to not only talk about history, but show it. His collection of more than 500 pieces of Black memorabilia, including many offensive items, are painful but important reminders of the reality of racism right here in the Midwest.

He has items including stove polish and tobacco using the “N” word and items from the Ku Klux Klan. Perhaps the most jarring is the figurine of an African-American baby in the mouth of an alligator from 1930 which Carr bought in the Roscoe area.

“It can be very shocking to bring up things people don’t want to see or hear,” Carr said.

Carr hopes the shock of the memorabilia will make people truly understand the deep-rooted racism which permeated society and the ugliness to guard against today.

In an interview with the Beloit Daily News, Carr described his upbringing as a Black youngster in Beloit and how he uses his experiences to teach about the history of racism and how it shaped his and his family’s lives. Most recently he compiled his stories in the book, “Time Bring About a Change.” A frequent speaker on multicultural awareness in the Minneapolis area, Carr has conducted diversity training at one of his favorite places in Beloit, The Stateline Boys & Girls Club.

Carr was born to the late Robert Carr and Farrie Carr in Beloit and still has lots of cousins in the area. When he was age 9, in 1969, Burdge Elementary was in his neighborhood, but he had to walk to what was then a mostly white school, Royce. The district had been rezoned in response to the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which made racial discrimination in public places illegal and resulted in Supreme Court rulings forcing schools to desegregate.

“My grandfather sat me down and told me it would be OK and that I was no different than anyone else,” he said.

Going to Royce, he said, made him who he is today. The rich diversity of Beloit gave him friends of all different races and backgrounds.

Although he endured his share of racial insults as a child, Carr said he made connections with others on the basketball court. He befriended kids at the former Boys Club, now the Stateline Boys & Girls Club, where he played little league, wiffle ball, basketball and more.

“That was my safe place,” he said. “Come Saturday morning I couldn’t wait to be there and it would be there all day long.”

When asked what he thought about the club’s plans to build a new facility near Beloit Memorial High School, he joked he was a bit mad he’s not a kid anymore as it would have been close to his house in Beloit.

After honing his athletic skills at the club, Carr succeeded in high school athletics. On March 18, 1978, Carr and the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights basketball team played a nail biter versus Wisconsin Rapids. Carr sank two free-throws with two seconds remaining to secure the win, and a spot in the state championship game. Following a successful high school basketball career, Carr joined UW Eau Claire’s basketball team, becoming the university’s career scoring leader. He continued his career by earning a spot on the US Olympic Trial team and ultimately was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1982.

Today, Carr works to better the lives of others through his career at Merrick, Inc. and the American Red Cross in addition to his volunteer work.

Since the late 80s, he’s been speaking about diversity and sharing some of his shocking memorabilia in presentations to educational institutions, businesses and churches. Although people are sometimes a little too nervous to say much during the question and answer part of his presentation, he usually gets a line-up of people following the event seeking to talk to him one on one, and he always welcomes the opportunity to have dialogue about race.

When asked his thoughts on people taking down statues or other monuments which some believe represent the country’s racist past, Carr said he is torn. He said he feels uneasy about the icons or the Confederate flag. He understands they are ugly and a reminder of unspeakable acts for some African Americans. However, he also said he is intrigued as they are part of history and can be spoken about to enlighten people.

“There’s an education behind everything. It’s important to know what they represent and it might be opposite of what some believe,” he said.

If Carr came upon such a statue, he would probably incorporate it into a presentation and speak on it. He said he uses his memorabilia and other offensive symbols to motivate him.

Carr said Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an outgrowth of people getting tired of racism and standing up and speaking out. Unfortunately, he said the movement has been hijacked by other infiltrators not associated with the movement.

“BLM has its role and brought a lot of issues to light. Other grassroots groups are getting involved that are not a positive influence,” Carr said.

Carr said many people aren’t aware of the strong racism of the past prevalent in cartoons such as Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry and other children’s toys depicting African Americans as subservient and turning them into caricatures. Many of the items are from the not-so-distant past.

Today there is still a lack of appropriate representation of Blacks. Carr said many companies say they support Black Lives Matter, but he questions how many people of color they have on their boards or in high level positions.

“If you are going to say it, let’s live it. It’s not we want a handout, we want an opportunity to compete,” he said.

However, Carr said positive change is happening. He cited some of Proctor & Gambles commercials as being more inclusive and helping others understand stereotypes. More people of color are taking leadership roles in business and beyond and it gives him hope.

The key of progress, Carr said, boils down to what his parents taught him.

“Treat people the way you want to be treated. If we can do that we can accomplish a lot,” he said. “We really have to listen to one another and respect one another to get to the next level.”

Carr and his wife Amy live in Stillwater, Minn., and have four teenagers.

Beloit council approves Boys and Girls Club plan for new facility

Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News | September 22, 2020

BELOIT—The plan to bring a new Stateline Boys and Girls Club facility to downtown Beloit is one step closer to reality after the Beloit City Council took action Monday to approve the project’s master land use plan.

The council unanimously approved a plan to combine 202 Maple Ave., 1500 Shore Drive and a northern portion of 1459 Sixth St. into a 4.4 acre parcel of land while the city will retain 1.9 acres of adjacent land as open space by the creek that runs near the site.

The proposed facility is 23,700 square feet to include athletic fields, on-site parking and driveways, according to the application submitted with the master land use plan.

The focus will be for the new facility to be more centrally located along the Fourth Street corridor nearer community partners, in particular the Beloit Memorial High School’s student population. The Stateline Boys and Girls Club facility in South Beloit is at 1161 Dorr Road.

New offerings would include expanded STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities, increased teen programming and increased capacity to reach more youth. Career exploration and cooking classes also may be offered.

The clubs currently have 2,000 total members.

A capital campaign is underway to raise funds for the project with a goal of $5.5 million. To-date, the organization has raised $87,825, according to the Boys and Girls Club website.

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