I want to congratulate the Florida Little League on their recent celebration of 40 years at their fields. Thinking back to when I was a Little Leaguer and playing at the old St. Joseph’s field and then Sturr Memorial Park, it has certainly evolved into a marvelous facility that we can all be proud to have.
But to enjoy the fields and their future, I feel that it is important for all to know how they were established. First, we have to be thankful to Lou Sherwin, whose family once owned the land. One of the finest lawyers in the country, he had the vision to see that his land could be enjoyed by so many future generations and was generous and kind enough to donate the land to the Florida Lions Club.
As important as the land was, it would have gone nowhere without the hard work of the members of the Lions Club at the time. We must remember that the land was certainly not developed and was extremely wet and laden with trees. The members of the Lions Club, most importantly Mickey Shuback, Vince Poloniak, Bill Leo, and the late Vince Brown, headed up this volunteer project. Keeping in mind that all involved had businesses of their own to run as well as full time jobs, a great deal of the work was done in the very early morning hours and in the evenings. Equipment was brought in to remove the trees, level the land, install drainage tile, create a parking area, as well as create the ball fields themselves.
These giving men sacrificed for all of us, and 40 years later can certainly be proud of what they have accomplished. We must once again thank the Florida Lions Club and its members for a job well done on this great project.