Baseball complex at Heritage Park named after 12-year-old Jace Jefferson

by / 0 Comments / 229 View / April 9, 2017

The regular Tuesday evening meeting of the Belton City Council (held on March 28) heard a range of topics for discussion. The baseball complex was named and the Belton Lena Armstong Library presented their newest program.
The baseball complex located at Heritage Park was named the Jace Jefferson Baseball Complex in honor of Jace Jefferson, who lost his year-long battle with cancer, at the young age of 12.

The request originally came from the Belton Youth Baseball Association (BYBA) and was recommended by the Parks Board.

Matt Bates, Director of Recreation and Events spoke to the council.

“Jace Jefferson was a longtime member of BYBA, “ Bates said. “This was a way that BYBA wanted to do this because of the amount of positivity and the impact that he made not only on his peers, his friends but also a lot of the parents he came in contact with.”

All of the fields at Heritage Park are currently named.

In a letter, Eric Johnson behalf of BYBA, wrote that Jace Jefferson short life has forever ours. Johnson wrote that Jace used his love for baseball and the BYBA as a way to connect across our community. He was a tremendous leader, on and off the field and always chose to do what was right. This is the type of selfless spirit that was a staple of who Jace was.

Johnson’s letter said that over the past seven years, we have all had been inspired by this young man who didn’t take one second for granted. A boy that would start and end his day with a smile, one that loved to be on the field more than any other place in the world and someone that touched an entire community.

The facility naming was posted online and the Parks Department received an overwhelming response from the community. Countless phone calls, over 30 emails and a lot of comments on Facebook in favor of naming the complex after Jace Jefferson.

The motion was passed.

Signs welcoming people to the Jace Jefferson Baseball Complex will be displayed at each of entrances.
Jace’s parents and grandparents with family friends attended the council meeting.

Mayor Marion Grayson said, “To hear the imapct that he made on individuals says a lot about him. I am happy to know that some of his inspiration will be at the ballpark.”

Kim Kroll, Director of the Lena Armstrong presented the council with their upcoming program, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. The library will be partnering with the Belton Early Childhood. The program will launch on April 6. It will launched at the school and library.

“This program is to encourage parents to read to their children,” Kroll said.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is an effort to help children be ready to start reading once they are in Kindergarten.