(KNSI) — A groundbreaking ceremony for three new basketball courts was held in Pinecone Central Park on Thursday afternoon.
The Tommy Bearson Foundation donated $150,000 to the project in honor of the 2014 Sartell High School graduate who was killed shortly after starting his freshman year at North Dakota State University. Tommy’s father, Greg, is the president of the foundation and says it’s a fitting tribute to his son.
“I don’t think we can find a better way to do something in memory of our son. Tom’s true love was basketball. And he excelled at basketball. He loved to play there. So I think these courts are a great way to commemorate him and capture a bit of who he was.
It is the biggest and the last project of the Tommy Bearson Foundation. Greg says the foundation will no longer be actively fundraising and he thanked everyone who has donated over the years.
“The residents and people of the great town of Sartell have been so generous and kind to us over the years and supportive of our foundation. It gave us so much strength and a reason to get up in the morning and do something positive for our community.
He says the foundation will continue to support young people who want to participate in activities at Sartell Secondary School.
Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzthum grew up next to the Bearsons and has spoken of his memories of Tommy.
“My memories of Tommy as a kid were that we were going out of town, Tom would be the one to come and take care of our family dog. He was just a very special kid. He was always shooting hoops in his driveway. The Bearsons have always had a dribbling basketball in the driveway, and so, to see this now revealed to many others in our community, I couldn’t be prouder or more excited.
The city hopes the new basketball courts and other future expansions to the park will make it a top destination in central Minnesota.
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