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Arena bleachers get a patriotic paint job

SHELLEY — Volunteers are giving the bleachers at the North Bingham County Park arena a facelift.

After volunteering with Champ’s Heart, a nonprofit that lets children and veterans with disabilities and their families ride horses for free, Tom Zahn asked Larry Cudmore, the nonprofit’s founder, what he could do to help.

“His number one want was to do something with these bleachers. They were a mess,” Zahn said.

Boards had rotted, railings were rusty and everything needed a fresh coat of paint, or two, or three.

Arena bleachers before being painted and repaired | Mike Price, Community Pioneer

Cudmore wanted the bleachers to have a more patriotic feel, In honor of Champ’s Heart’s veterans program. So Zahn decided to paint them red, white and blue in a rough approximation of the American Flag.

Zahn also had an idea about how he could raise a little money for Champ’s Heart. He would cut out stars that people could purchase to put on the bleachers. Each star would have a plaque with the veteran’s name and the war they fought in.

Stars cost $100. Anyone who would like to purchase a star can message Zahn at

Zahn originally envisioned placing those stars on the bleachers but eventually decided against it. Instead, he built a three-sided a-frame transportable cart. The cart will hold all of the veteran stars. The bleachers will have stenciled on stars.

The project began a few weeks ago, and various groups have donated their time and resources to help get it done.

Jim’s Trophy Shop is donating the plaques for the stars. Habitat for Humanity donated 20 gallons of paint. And the City of Shelley replaced 12 boards.

Members of the Mclain family reunion paint veteran stars | Mike Price, Community Pioneer

To get the work done, Kim Adams with Just Serve in Shelley put the call out for help and has had dozens of people out to work on the bleachers.

On Friday, Brent Mclain gathered up around 34 members of his family who were in town for a family reunion and took them over to the arena, where they set to work painting the bleachers.

“As we were talking as a family about what we could do for some service in our reunion, my wife and I thought about Tom and what they are doing here,” Mclain said.

Zahn said, in total, he and volunteers like the Mclain family will have put in around 400 manhours before the project is complete.

Mike Price

Mike Price is an award winning journalist from Shelley. He is now one of the founding members and Editor-in-Chief of the Community Pioneer.

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