Kilar’s Field of Dreams misses grant
Organizers for the Treyton Kilar Field of Dreams are planning an auction to raise money for the ballpark. To donate an item, contact Rob Gosh at (262) 527-6382.
WHITEWATER Organizers for Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams are shifting their focus to other fundraising efforts after their bid to win a $250,000 grant through Pepsi fell short.
Mike and Mary Kilar, Treyton’s parents, hoped funds through the Pepsi Refresh Project would pay the bulk of a $475,000 youth baseball park planned in Treyton’s name.
The two proposals with the most votes received funding, and up until about 30 minutes before voting ended, Kilar’s project was in second place. In the final minutes, it slipped to third.
“I talked to Mike, and he’s very disappointed,” said Rob Gosh, a family friend helping to coordinate fundraising efforts. “My goal is still to start hitting the pavement and trying to get as many donations as we can.
“We’re getting there. (Monday) night was just a kick in the feet.”
Kilar, 6, of Whitewater was killed in an apparent drunken driving accident Sept. 2. Scott Dragotta, 44, of East Troy is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. His trial is scheduled for early March.
Project organizers are trying to raise money to build a 225- to 250-foot baseball field on Starin Park’s northeast side, complete with concrete dugouts, bleachers and a scoreboard. It also could include lighting and a restroom and concessions building, depending on the amount of funding.
They’ve already raised about $60,000 through events and donations.
Gosh said his attention now turns to an auction that was planned before project coordinators began investing time in securing the Pepsi funds.
Gosh doesn’t know when it’ll happen, but they’re already off to a promising start. Among the items he said they’ll auction is baseball Commissioner Bud Selig’s suite during a Milwaukee Brewers game.
Kilar was an avid baseball fan and dreamed of playing professionally.
Gosh met with Brewers representatives a month or two ago, and they told him they plan to donate other Brewers memorabilia.
A 1942 Harley Davidson donated by Gosh’s co-worker also will be auctioned. Donations are still being accepted.
“My goal right now is to try and raise as much as we can,” Gosh said. “We wouldn’t have the pressure as much if we got the Pepsi grant, but right now I definitely feel more pressure to get fundraising on some level.”
The results of the Pepsi Refresh Project are unofficial. The company still must verify the projects meet all requirements, and official recipients will be announced Feb. 23.
Organizers for Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams said a new round of voting could take place in April or May. If they don’t receive a grant this month, they plan to re-apply, though the Pepsi grant isn’t expected to be as large as the one offered in January.