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Rosedale Little League gets funds to renovate field

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But using money from the $250,000 that International Airport Centers promised the community when they moved in last year, the league plans to renovate the fields, said Milton Ross, league vice president.

"We're redoing the batting cages, putting in some stands for the parents and picnic tables in the back, so the parents can let their little kids play and run around," he said.

The Rosedale Little League is among the southeast Queens community organizations that were slated to get a piece of the community fund started by IAC - now known as AMB International Airport Centers after a merger - when they opened at 182-30 150th Road in Springfield Gardens.

The cargo and aviation industry business contributed $250,000 to mitigate the impact the facility, which was built on wetlands, may have on the environment and the traffic in the area.

The money was presented to the New Directions Corporation, the non-profit group managing the fund, at a news conference at the Rosedale Little League fields Monday.

""We are here today to announce that $250,000, as promised, to go to community organizations to better things, primarily for the children is indeed a reality," said U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans). "This is what can take place when groups come together."

The funds will be mainly used to improve playing fields for baseball, cricket and football in southeast Queens, said Pat Rubens, chief of staff for state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans).

"This will go towards better sports on better fields," Smith said. "When you have good partners, people forget how important the relationship is."

Other organizations, including the Rosedale Civic Association, the Universal Institute for Vocational Training, the Mahogany Sisters cancer survivorship group, The Arverne Action Association and the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, Smith said.

The Eastern Queens Alliance was also slated to get funds to establish an environmental center at Idlewild Park, he said.

Smith, Meeks, Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), and others brokered the deal with the IAC last year as the facility was starting to open for business. "No matter what happened they were going to honor this commitment," said Martin McLaughlin, lawyer for IAC. "There was a merger at one point, but never once did they waiver."

Sanders praised IAC for working with the residents.

"For too long this community has been dumped on," Sanders said. "There has been no sense of corporate responsibility, but we've been able to do something here that people almost didn't believe we could do."

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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