The Iowa Girls High School State Softball Championship has been held in Fort Dodge since 1971 and it is an honor for Fort Dodge to host it.
But with any honor it takes a lot of hard work and partnerships to be successful. On behalf of the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau I would like to take this opportunity to thank several organization who contribute to its success every year.
A couple of organizations provide necessary services to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, the organizers of this important tournament. In order to host this tournament our community must provide services and top-notch facilities to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. A special "thank you" goes to the Fort Dodge Parks and Recreation Department, city of Fort Dodge and the staff at Rogers Sports Complex. They provide important services at Rogers Sports Complex which keeps the tournament running smoothly. Whether preparing the fields, providing concessions, parking personnel during the event or continuously improving the facilities in the off season, their commitment to the tournament contributes to its success every year.
We would also like to "thank" Iowa Central Community College for providing integral services on campus for the Iowa Girls Athletic Union. Iowa Central Community College provides all the participating teams the option to stay at their dorms and use their facilities. This helps to keep the team costs down and opens up rooms at our hotels for softball fans.
Finally, the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau would like to "thank" the Fort Dodge businesses and organizations that donated items to the Girls State Softball welcome bags. This year there were so many items provided by businesses that every team qualifying for the tournament received a box of items instead of a bag. Twenty-four businesses contributed items to the welcome bags which included special offers, coupons, promotional items, bug spray, commemorative patches, decorative magnets, sewing repair kits, hand sanitizers, bottled water, power bars, pens, notepads, lotion and book marks. We would like to thank the following businesses for their support A-1 Home Healthcare, Wells Fargo Bank, Family Bowling Center, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Lily Grace on Central, Rosedale Rapids Family Aquatic Center, AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Country Inn Suites, Comfort Inn, Domino's Pizza, Tom Thumb Drive-In, Hardee's, Nestle Purina Petcare Company, Ja-Mar Drive-In, Taco Johns, Perkins, Larita's Cake 'N ' More, Vanity, Maurices, Christopher and Banks, La'James International College, Homespun Collection, Shoppers Supply and the Social Security Administration. These welcome materials act as a reference for teams but also as a token of appreciation.
I'm sure there are many other businesses in the community that serve the Iowa Girls Athletic Union, teams and fans. I would like to send a special "thank you" to them for the hospitality they show our softball guests.
We are proud of the businesses that show the state softball teams how much our community supports the tournament and how much we enjoy hosting the tournament in Fort Dodge.
Kerrie Kuiper is marketing director of the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau.