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Tue, Oct. 15

Sports facility for veterans to start construction in Prescott

After extensive fundraising, two veterans groups are ready to break ground on a Prescot sports facility.<BR>Courtesy

After extensive fundraising, two veterans groups are ready to break ground on a Prescot sports facility.<BR>Courtesy

KINGMAN - Two local veterans groups will break ground on a new sports facility for the U.S. Veterans Affairs hospital in Prescott next week.

The Arizona Marine Corps League and the Military Order of the Devil Dogs are building an outdoor sports area with facilities for basketball, tennis, badminton, paddleball, volleyball, racquetball, shuffleboard and handball at the hospital in Prescott. The plans also include a pavilion with seating for spectators and the facility will be fully accessible to those with disabilities.

The Devil Dogs are an honor organization of the U.S. Marine Corps League and both organizations are well-known for their community service, fundraising efforts and assistance to veterans.

"We can't wait to get it up and running," said Bob Wallace, the project director for the Devil Dogs Charity. "This will fulfill a critical need. We have veterans coming home every day with physical and mental injuries that need help."

The organizations are hoping that a sports facility where the more than 26,000 soldiers served by the hospital can meet and play various games that will give them the chance to reach out to each other and begin the healing process.

The project is located just south of the chapel building and is expected to be completed by mid-summer.

So far more than $125,000 has been raised for the project through yard sales, raffles and donations from individuals, civic and veterans' organizations, foundations and businesses from all over the state of Arizona. Various subcontractors and suppliers are also contributing to the project by working at cost or discounting the price of materials and labor.

"We got a tremendous outpouring of support from around the state," Wallace said.

The Devil Dogs collected enough funds to purchase bleachers and build a restroom and an office for the sports equipment, he said.

The organization is still seeking donations for sports equipment. Contact Wallace at (928) 237-9358 for more information.

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