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Hundreds gather at Fireman's Field for celebration night in Carlos

Coach Ryan Severson yells out warm-up commands to open Wednesday's Carlos Cubs practice. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)1 / 5
Construction of the new dug out at Fireman's Field is under way thanks to a $10,000 Twins Community Fund Grant. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)2 / 5
CHS/Cenex Director of Marketing and Communications addresses the kids before they split off into their drill stations Wednesday at Fireman's Field. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)3 / 5
Charlie Thimmesh makes a throw back to his coach during the Carlos Cubs celebration night on Wednesday. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)4 / 5
Four-year-old Maci Schmidt takes a big swing during her turn at the tee. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)5 / 5

The Carlos Cubs youth baseball and tee ball program meet every Monday and Wednesday evening in June and July. But Wednesday, June 21, was a special night in which they celebrated the $10,000 grant they received from the Twins Community Fund.

The money will be used to rebuild a dugout at Fireman’s Field in Carlos.

The dugout marks the beginning of an extensive expansion and improvement plan to make the ballpark a great place to play baseball and host community gatherings.

“It means a lot,” Carlos Cubs. The city condemned our other dugout that we had up here. It had a few cracks in the foundation and in the structure, so it wasn’t usable anymore. So from there we decided, let’s look big picture and into the future, as well. There’s some other ideas we have going forward.”

The ideas include renovating the other dugout and adding two youth fields, a pavilion, a grandstand with a press box, and batting cages along both baselines.

Carlos is one of many recipients of the Fields for Kids Grant, which is given out by the Minnesota Twins Community Fund in partnership with CHS/Cenex. Grants handed out range from $1,000 to $10,000 to communities in Twins Territory – Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Florida (where the Twins are for spring training).

“Cenex is happy to be a part of providing some of those funds that will go directly to those local communities,” said Bryan Brignac, director of CHS/Cenex marketing communications.

At the celebration night, the Cubs started the night with a warm-up and took a knee for a pep talk before splitting off into stations to work on baseball and tee ball fundamentals, such as fielding ground balls and fly balls and hitting soft toss or off a tee. It was also picture night, so one at a time, each group left its station to take a break from ball and get photos taken.

More than 250 kids were at field to take part in Wednesday’s action.

After the practice, each player received a baseball from CHS/Cenex and was entered in a raffle to win prizes such as Twins tickets, a bike and gift cards.

“Just a good fun atmosphere for the kids to come out, learn a little baseball, tee ball, some some skills, some fundamentals, and families to just enjoy it and have fun,” Severson said.