COMMUNITY: A new game in town

JR Ogden
Published: March 15 2014 | 5:00 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:38 am in

By Lance Greco, community contributor

CEDAR RAPIDS — Get ready, Cedar Rapids, bocce is coming to town.

Twenty years ago, Cedar Rapids knew almost nothing about a sport called hockey. That was when a group with an interest in seeing that change initiated the process of getting an indoor ice arena in town.

Today, the Eastern Iowa Ice Arena is home to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, a thriving youth hockey league, figure skating lessons and competitions, and now even curling. The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena has impacted thousands and helped Cedar Rapids round out its recreational offerings.

We are about to see another “first of its kind” sports facility in

Cedar Rapids. Bocce (“boch’-ee”) is traditionally played on natural soil courts 60- to 90-feet in length and 8- to 13-feet wide. Bocce balls can be made of metal or various kinds of plastic. A game can be conducted between two players or two teams of two, three or four players.

It is enjoyed by men, women and children of all ages.

The City of Cedar Rapids has agreed to place a bocce court in Bever Park in southeast Cedar Rapids. The Thursday Noon Optimists Club is providing volunteer labor for court construction, as well as raising the approximately $3,000 needed to build the court through private individual donations.

Donations of any size are welcome. Checks should be made out to Optimists International Foundation with “CR Bocce” on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to: Thursday Noon Optimists, P.O. Box 1506, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52406.

Fundraising has begun and the Optimists hope to have enough money raised by mid to late summer, when the city plans to begin construction. King’s Materials, Pace Supply and Landscape by Design have generously donated materials or services.

The project should be completed within a week of construction commencement.

If you have questions about this project, contact Lance Greco at (319) 360-3070.

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