Friday, September 10, 2010

Lakers VP Jeanie Buss will dedicate Laker Court this Sunday

John Steffes sits on the new Laker Court!

Los Angeles Lakers Vice President Jeanie Buss
It all began on a snowy night in January 1960. A Minneapolis Lakers team flight home from St. Louis was in trouble and had to land. The pilot found the Carroll water tower and set down safely in what is now Veteran's Memorial Park. Players were taken to the Burke Hotel and left the next day. The plane was repaired and flown out of the cornfield. Not too long after, the team moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles.

Last January, a 50th Anniversary celebration was held honoring the crew. Organizers asked the Los Angeles Lakers to send someone to Carroll to help recognize the anniversary. But in the middle of the season, folks here understand why that would not work out. Lakers Vice President Jeanie Buss sent a very nice letter to be read at the ceremony. A plaque commemorating the landing was installed in the park.

Soon Norm Hutcheson, the long time member of the Carroll Airport Commission arranged for a DC3 to join the Fly-In Breakfast at the Carroll Airport on September 12, 2010. John Steffes, who organized the events in January, was pleased with the plaque in the Park, but had bigger plans. "What about a basketball court there? We could make it purple and gold like the Lakers...maybe they would help fund it in recognition of the anniversary." 

The Lakers are not only providing $25,000 to fund the construction of the court, but Jeanie Buss will be here to cut the ribbon. Also scheduled to appear is Minneapolis Laker Tommy Hawkins, who was a passenger on the plane.

 6:30 a.m - 1:00 p.m. - Fly-In Breakfast - Arthur N. Neu Municipal Airport, 21177 Quail Ave., Carroll.
A brief program to honor the historic DC3/C47 will begin at 10:00 a.m.

1:30 p.m.  -  Carroll Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Laker Court at Veteran's Memorial Park, 2100 Grant Rd., Carroll.
The culdesac at the south end of Ashwood Drive
 has been renamed Laker Court

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