Tag Archives: Pinery Park Little League

WKTV cameras to be at Pinery Park Little League celebration

The Pinery Park Little League will celebrate its players, parents and volunteers this week. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris



The Pinery Park Little League’s annual Celebration Day, coming this Saturday, is a celebration of the hundreds of kids involved with about 30 teams playing in the park’s youth baseball and softball program. It is also a celebration of the parents and volunteers who work to make the program a success.


WKTV’s mobile coverage crew will be recording it all, starting at 10 a.m., May 13, and set for broadcast at 6 p.m. that night on WKTV community television Channel 25.


“This is our traditional ‘opening day’ celebration; we have been playing for several weeks but we like to wait until we have a better chance of good weather,” said Joe Gonzalez, president of the Pinery Park Little League. “It is a celebration of the kids, but also all the people who are trying to make the league stronger, to keep it going.”


Gonzalez said the event will have a “parade” of teams of players introduced in their team shirts, and then a carnival and food for the kids starting at 11 a.m. Many of the sponsors of the teams and the league will also be identified at the event.


According to Gonzalez, the league hosts a spectrum of levels of baseball and softball teams, including multiple teams in T-ball, coach pitch, minor and major levels. He said there are usually about 14 players in each baseball team and about 10-to-12 players in each softball team.


Pinery Park is located at 2301 De Hoop Ave. (off 28th Street), in Wyoming.


For more information search Pinery Park Little League on Facebook or email pineryparklittleleague@gmail.com .


2015 Year In Review – City of Wyoming

Pinery Park Sign WyomingAnother year has come and gone. Here at Wyoming-Kentwood NOW, we take a look back at the year that was with some of our favorite, and most memorable, stories from here in Wyoming.

Wyoming Deputy Manager Receives Heartfelt Farewell – January

After almost 15 years on the job, former Wyoming Deputy City Manager Barbara Van Duren retired. Her retirement was celebrated at the Wyoming Public Library to make room for all the people in attendance! 28th West, the re-development of 28th street, was a project close to Barbara’s heart. In the words of Barbara Van Duren, “28th streets needs a facelift.”

One Wyoming 1 on 1 mentors make a difference – January

One Wyoming 1 on 1 offers mentors the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives. Not only that, but the children will make just as big–if not bigger–of an impact on you! Deb Havens shares her story on mentoring Amber and the bond they’ve created.

Wyoming Public Safety Honors Top Employees – February

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety recognized their top employees. Among those honored was Jason Caster for Officer of the year, Brian Illbrink as Firefighter of the Year, Terra Wesseldyk as Civilian of the Year, and Lt. Kirt Zuiderveen received the Chief’s Award of Professional Excellence.

High School March Madness
Wyoming and Kentwood Area Basketball Teams Feel the Magic of March – March
Survive and Advance: Two Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams Still Left – March

March is a special time for basketball lovers of all ages! The MHSAA playoffs kicked into full gear with multiple schools from the Wyoming area vying for a State Championship.

Wyoming’s Landscape Sees Positive Changes – May

Harriet Sturim, a proud Wyoming homeowner since 1977, highlights some new and positive building in the city. From the new Veterans Clinic in Metro Village to the new businesses on 28th and 36th street, the City of Wyoming is continuing the city’s growth of vision and progress.

Wyoming’s Oldest Home, ‘Rogers Mansion,’ Up for Sale – June

Wyoming’s, and most like Kent County’s, oldest home was put up for sale in 2015. For the first time in 179 years, the ‘Rogers Mansion’ was put on the market for someone outside the Rogers family. The house comes with the original skeleton key to unlock the front door. History is all around us.

GM Bringing New Jobs
General Motors announces 300 new jobs and a $119 million dollar expansion at Wyoming Plant – June
GM Set to Invest 43 Million into Wyoming Plant – December

General Motors used 2015 to invest in their Burton location with capital and full-time job opportunities. $119 million and 300 jobs were announced in June and another $43 million 55 new jobs were announced later in December! A reinvestment in West Michigan manufacturing is sometime to get excited about.

Wyoming Memorial Day Ceremony in Pictures – June

Citizen Journalist Harriet Sturim took pictures to capture Wyoming’s Memorial Day celebration at its core.

New Business Construction in Wyoming – September

Wyoming continues to add new businesses to the area. Three new businesses found a home at the corner of Clyde Park and 44th Street. A four-story WoodSpring Hotel, a Fox Powersports, and a J&H Mobil Station with a Tim Horton’s right next-door broke in the dirt.

Wyoming Residents in ArtPrize
Wyoming, Michigan Artist’s ArtPrize Entry Shines Light on Peers – September
Wyoming, Mich. ArtPrize Artist Explores Interpretation of Structures – October
ArtPrize Entry by Wyoming, Mich. Artist Makes the Final 20 – October

Artist’s from right here in Wyoming, Michigan entered their work into ArtPrize 7. One of the artists found themselves in the top 20!

Pinery Park Little League
Time is Running Out on Pinery Park Little League – September
Pinery Park Little League on the Right Track – October

The Pinery Park Little League was in troubled water as they risked losing their contract to the fields at Pinery Park with the Wyoming City Council due to a lack of transparency and losing their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. Fortunately, the league was able to get it together but will need to run more efficiently going forward.

Wyoming’s New ‘Sinking Fund’ Will Keep School Infrastructure Afloat – November

Wyoming Public Schools found themselves on the winning side after election day with the passing of a sinking fund to help the school. The sinking fund works a little differently from a bond issue and will end up raising over $400,000 per year with little, if any, increase to Wyoming tax payers.

The Great Candy Cane Hunt – December

The Great Candy Cane Hunt had another successful season with Santa being delivered by the fire department and then leading the children on a candy cane hunt throughout Pinery Park. The event continued at the Wyoming Senior Center with “life-size” jenga and connect four that families could enjoy!

Pinery Park Little League on the Right Track

PineryParkBy: Mike DeWitt

Following weeks of speculation about whether the Pinery Park Little League (PPLL) would exist after 60 years of operation, the PPLL and the City of Wyoming agreed on a new contract to keep the league in charge of youth baseball.

Pinery Park Little League was in jeopardy of losing its contract with the City of Wyoming and Pinery Park due to a lack of transparent bookkeeping and the loss of nonprofit 501(c)(3) status.

The League made tremendous progress ironing out those issues over the past two weeks.

“I guess it took some major deadlines in order to have this contract happen,” exclaimed Mayor Jack Poll at the October 5 City Council Meeting. “I think it’s a good agreement. It protects both the park and those involved with the PPLL.”

There is new leadership within the League as almost an entirely new board was voted in during the elections on September 30. Mayor Poll was in attendance and cast his vote for the League leaders.

It is clear the new board wants the new contract and agreement to work. The members are shouldering a large responsibility to meet the requirements of the contract. The new board will have to prepare and show financial statements to the fiduciary handling the league’s financials. The PPLL board will meet on a regular, scheduled basis to stay on top of happenings throughout the league.

One of the main hiccups was the loss of 501(c)(3) status for the League back in 2011. The IRS has received and is reviewing the PPLL’s application to reinstate that status. The League must now wait 60-120 days for an answer from the IRS.

“The Pinery Park Little League knows how to run a league, they’ve been doing it a long time,” said Mayor Poll.

Now the league, the City, the parents, and the players can focus on the most important aspect… PLAY BALL!

Time is Running Out on Pinery Park Little League

By: Mike DeWitt

It’s every little leaguer’s dream, that perfect game-ending situation that runs through a ballplayer’s mind: At the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, the bases are loaded with your team down a score. Three balls and two strikes, a full count and it’s do or die.

There’s nowhere to hide. It’s just you at the plate. A chance to be the hero.

For Pinery Park Little League (PPLL), the game is winding down and it’s time for the league to step up to the plate so that its contract with the City of Wyoming and Pinery Park isn’t terminated.

After 60 years of organizing youth baseball here in Wyoming, the PPLL is in jeopardy of losing its home.

PineryParkThe problems started back in 2011 when the PPLL lost its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with the IRS due to a lack of transparent bookkeeping and financial information. Since the loss of 501(c)(3) status, the City of Wyoming has asked the PPLL to take the necessary steps to get the nonprofit title back with the IRS.

Four years later that still has not been accomplished. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for an organization that has proven to be run very inefficiently.

Electrical and maintenance bills haven’t been paid on time. Board meeting dates are flimsy with sometimes only a couple of days’ notice before a meeting. Board election positions are posted with the minimal amount of notice (two weeks) mandated by the league’s bylaws. Umpires are paid in cash out of the concession stand register with no paper trail to follow. And the League has been unable to present their financials at the request of the Wyoming City Council.

“This league is extremely, extremely unorganized,” exclaimed Mayor Jack Poll in a heat of passion and disappointment at the City Council Meeting on September 14. “And, if they can’t have the leadership to run this league on our fields with the requirements that we have, then it’s time to change direction.”

The Wyoming City Council had a very long discussion about what to do with the PPLL and whether or not the contract should be terminated. By the end of the meeting, they decided on a few next steps:

  • The PPLL must turn over all financials, bank statements and loose pieces of paper
  • The PPLL lawyer and the City lawyer will draw up a new contract that has some teeth
  • The new contract will designate the Community Resource Alliance as the fiduciary for the finances of the PPLL
  • The PPLL will form a separate committee to field complaints from league participants

The new contract must be submitted by September 30 so that it can be placed on the October 5 meeting’s agenda. If no agreement is reached, the contract will be terminated on October 5, and the Parks and Rec Department will charter youth baseball.