Kilars unofficially win $50,000 grant

Not many people receive birthday presents that total $50,000.

However, the Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams project received news this weekend that a $50,000 grant from Pepsi could possibly be coming its way after a month full of strong voting helped it unofficially finish in the top-10 of the competition.

Treyton’s eighth birthday was yesterday.

Treyton Kilar

“Yeah, it’s exciting,” Mary Kilar, Treyton’s mother, said. “We were very reluctant to celebrate because we knew what happened last time when we thought we were in it.”

Amie Alvarado, who updates the projects Facebook, Twitter and website pages, agreed it was elating finishing in the top-10 after a heartbreaking finish last January.

“$50,000 is an incredible amount of money, which will be put to very good use,” Alvarado said. “It definitely gives us a great step in making this field become a reality … to be able to earn $50,000 right now is still a wonderful shot in the arm.”

The official results will be released Oct. 23 after Pepsi finishes its voting verification and auditing process.

After a few weeks of voting, Treyton’s Field of Dreams was struggling to gain votes, hovering around 24th place until Mary realized other organizations were using the new power voting caps and codes to gain more votes.

“I think we were pretty disheartened with how we were doing,” Mary Kilar said. “Then we realized that the power voting … were what people had been collecting the whole time. We kind of came together and said ‘where can we find the caps that people are just throwing away and not using?’

Mary Kilar

“We were looking in garbage [cans], we were asking what people were throwing away and certainly helping the economy because we went out and bought a ton of Pepsi products that had the power votes on it.”

The project jumped after the last week or two of voting all the way up to an unofficial 2nd place finish.

If the grant is officially awarded to the project, the fundraising total will be around $250,000. The estimated cost of the project is around $450,000, but Mary Kilar said they could possibly bring the price down to the $300,000-$350,000 range with in-kind services.

“Our hope is that groundbreaking can happen in spring and [we] can phase in the different features as we fundraise for that money,” Mary Kilar added.

The field will potentially have turf, lights, stands, dugouts, restrooms and a concession stand depending on the money that’s fundraised.

Only a few fundraisers are planned in the coming months, including a 5k run/walk on Oct. 16. Forest Park Presbyterian Church in New Berlin  is hosting an event titled, “Express yourself – Shop – Eat – Play” this Saturday from 9 a.m to 3 p.m.  where many local vendors will be selling items to support the project.

Alvarado also said another Zumba event is in the planning process for either November or December.

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