West River Health Services, the leader in top-notch healthcare in Western Dakota, recently took 42 people to Bismarck to watch the Bismarck Larks play the Eau Claire Express on Opening Day, May 28th.
Eight more people from the Bismarck area joined us for a total of 50 people to enjoy the Tailgate section down the first base and right field lines. This tailgate area was recently renovated to include a huge wooden deck with picnic and bar tables and chairs, plus the right field line bleachers were moved in closer just behind the opposing team’s dugout along the first base line.
This is the second year in a row that West River Health Services has rented a bus from the local school district and taken people up to see terrific college baseball stars compete for the Larks! Originally thought of as a morale booster for WRHS/WHLC employees, this trip has evolved into an employee family trip engaging with area community members – TOGETHER! All of the WRHS/WHLC employees tickets were paid for by West River’s Employee First Committee. Their spouses and children could join us for $35 and the General Public were charged $40. These minimal fees included transportation to and from Bismarck, their ticket for the game, all the food and refreshments they could enjoy the first 5 innings, and new Larks hats for all the youth.
This year’s 50 members included all age groups from age 4 (Ely Wolf) to 65 or so (?), boys and girls, moms and dads, WRHS employees, baseball fans, and fans of entertainment and getting away for an afternoon/evening of camaraderie. The bus left the WRHS parking lot at 2:45pm sharp, with steady bus driver Cathy Hanson handling the big rig with ease. Various gifts were passed out to all attendees during the trip up to Bismarck. Hanson maneuvered the bus expertly through tight road construction and the big city, parking us in our usual spot 15 minutes before the gates to the stadium opened. The entire bus broke out into song with “Take Me Out To The Ballgame!”
Once inside the Dakota Community Bank Stadium, we each garnered our seats in the tailgate section. Next came the all-you-can-eat meal of hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, sloppy joes, potato salad, chips, and refreshments. Once pre-game infield and hitting was concluded, the Star Spangled Banner was sung beautifully by the Central Dakota Children’s Choir. They could have used a microphone, but no matter, it sounded amazing.
The Bismarck Larks cruised to a 15-2 win, ending the game with a double play! Then after the game, we witnessed the most spectacular Fireworks Show ever. WOW! It was amazing!
Thank you to all the 50 people who attended Bismarck Larks Opening Day with west River Health Services. We appreciate your respect for our bus, our bus driver and our organization. Like Ernie Banks said, “Let’s Play Two!” Onward!