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Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Bellevue Vets ballfield got a makeover and you have to see it

The Cincinnati Reds, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the Cincinnati Zoo, and Duke Energy are partnering for a day-long service project today at the Bellevue Vets Complex.

Over 200 volunteers will be working on projects throughout the day.

The Bellevue Veterans Club sports facility has served tens of thousands of boys and girls in Northern Kentucky area for decades.

Russell Madden, an Army Spc. veteran killed in action, will have the t-ball field named for him at the complex. He was lost his life while battling for his country in Afghanistan in 2010. Madden's hometown was Bellevue.

Memorial Parkway, which runs from Bellevue through Fort Thomas, was renamed Russell Madden Memorial Highway in 2012.

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Other attributes of the filed include:

• New synthetic turf infield and renovated outfield that will be home to the Bellevue High School baseball team
• “Palace of the Fans” backstop along with new dugouts, fencing and scoreboard
• Groeschen Family Press Box
• New playground, interior and exterior painting and landscaping
The Bellevue Vets is located at 24 Fairfield Ave. in Bellevue.
The volunteers will begin work at 9 a.m. and the dedication and ribbon-ceremony for St. Elizabeth Healthcare Field at the Bellevue Vets is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Scheduled to speak at the dedication ceremony are:
• Bob Castellini, Cincinnati Reds CEO
• Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth President & CEO
• Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo Director
• Amy Spiller, Duke Energy State President, Ohio & Kentucky

In addition to the Madden family, the project has significant connections to another Bellevue family.

The press box at the new high school field will be named in honor of Tom and Leo Groeschen. Tom was a longtime Greater Cincinnati sportswriter who passed away in November. His father Leo was a Red Sox draft pick and prospect before serving in the Korean War. Leo was also a legendary coach at Bellevue Vets.

Russell and Tom both played ball at the Bellevue Vets complex as kids.

The Bellevue field renovation is one of two “Legacy Projects” the Reds Community Fund is overseeing in 2019 celebrating the 150th anniversary of Baseball’s First Professional Team – the 1869 Red Stockings.

The second Legacy Project, Frank Robinson Field at Ross Park in St. Bernard, Oh., was dedicated on August 1.

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