By Guy Gregory
MCDC Communications Specialist
RECORD SETTING GAME: This year’s Co-op Nite at the Ball Park was the most attended since stats were recorded in 2011 (stats courtesy of Great Falls Voyagers). Attendance was at 2,548, a 1% increase over last year’s attendance.
The smoke that blew in from the state’s recent wildfires did not deter another huge crowd from attending the 12th Annual Co-op Nite at the Ball Park on August 18th. Centene Stadium was packed again this year with fans who enjoyed free tickets from their local cooperatives to watch the Helena Brewers take on the Great Falls Voyagers.
The Montana Council of Cooperatives (MCOC) is the primary sponsor of this family-oriented summer event. This year’s co-sponsors were: Mountain View Co-op, 3 Rivers Communications, Sun River Electric Cooperative, Montana Farmers Union, Triangle Communications, CHS Big Sky,
Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association, Hill County Electric Cooperative, Montana Federal Credit Union, Blackfoot, and the Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC).
Staff from 3 Rivers Communications handed out free neon colored “Co-op Nite at the Ball Park” t-shirts to young fans. Families also received baseball-shaped shoulder strap bags containing complimentary co-op gifts from the sponsors. Council board members Buck Goldhahn and Ryan Hall volunteered to assist MCDC staff in distributing door prize tickets that were drawn throughout the game. Co-op Nite sponsors also donated the special prizes that were announced between innings.
Daustin Hall, Ryan Hall’s oldest son, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to start the game between the Voyagers and Brewers. The Voyagers mascot, Orbit, zoomed-in to greet his adoring fans including many children who huddled around him as he made his way through the stadium. The children were thrilled that Orbit took the time to autograph their free Co-op Nite t-shirts.
The score remained close throughout the entire game, but the Brewers failed to keep pace with the Voyagers and Great Falls went on to defeat Helena 10-7.