Lake Hallie (WQOW) – If you drive by the Lake Hallie Ball Park on any night during the spring and summer, you will see a lot of action.
For more than two decades, the April Jefferson Award winner has not only kept things organized, but allowed the Lake Hallie softball program to thrive.
As Bob Normand knows, the crack of the bat, the smell of freshly-cut grass and a stand full of fans can be intoxicating.
“I got involved with Hallie ball back in 1992 when my daughter was 10-years-old and [she] came to me and said, ‘I want to play softball.’ After that, I just stayed involved,” Normand said.
He’s not only stayed involved, but has run the show; setting up registration, schedules, fundraising and leading 100-plus volunteers.
In fact, he keeps being elected as president because no one has run against him.
“I have pretty good skills, I think, when it comes to organizing, and I saw a chance to give back to the park here,” Normand said. “I stayed involved because I want people to come back to this organization.”
Normand has also helped the program grow from roughly 300 players in 1992 to 500 strong now. The local high school programs have also benefited. Between Chippewa Falls and McDonell Central, Lake Hallie players have made up the rosters of 17 state tournament teams since Normand took over.
“It’s just so, so fulfilling to be able to see those kids, to know I had a little piece in their success moving up and I just love that part of it,” he said.
Normand started with the program because he wanted to coach his kids. Now, he stays on, to help his 500 players.
“I love seeing the kids progress from three or four-years-old to playing in senior division,” Normand said. “I’ll come out here and watch games when I don’t even have to be at the park, just to see those players make that progress.”
Normand’s volunteer spirit doesn’t stop when the softball season ends. He is also the long-time president of the Chippewa Youth Hockey Organization.
If you know a volunteer, like Normand, making a difference in our community, click here to nominate them!