Celebration and dedication

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Cranston National Budlong Little League and the Cranston Ravens recently hosted local officials and members of the community for a dedication of renovations to the CNBLL Complex at the fields off Aqueduct Road. The building was dedicated to Manuela Brandow, president of CNBLL girls softball, in honor of her work on the project.

Michael Casale, vice president of CNBLL, said the improvements to the building stemmed from conversations about cooperation with the Cranston Ravens in 2012. At the time, he said, it became clear that expanded restrooms and accommodations were needed due to the popularity of the programs.

Following discussions and board meetings, Casale said, a plan was developed to increase the number of restrooms from one to three. Additionally, with support from grants and community contributions and the assistance of Cranston Department of Parks and Recreation Director Tony Liberatore and Building Maintenance Manager Bob DeCosta, work on the second floor of the facility was completed over a four-year period.

“This was a group effort … A lot of work went in behind the scenes when it came to getting this job done,” Casale said.

Of Brandow, he added: “During these last four years, she’s put in countless hours of time away from her family, and without her generosity, leadership and guidance, this renovation would never have been accomplished.”

Mayor Allan Fung spoke during the dedication ceremony – which included the unveiling of a plaque in Brandow’s honor – along with P.J. Bessette, past president of CNBLL and Cranston Ravens, and John Pesaturo, RI Little League District One administration. State Sen. Hanna Gallo was unable to attend but was recognized by the night’s speakers.

“I am extremely humbled by this honor … I share this with all of you,” Brandow said.

The plaque reads: “Cranston National Budlong Little League and the city of Cranston dedicated the new CNBLL Complex to Manuela Brandow in recognition of her tireless dedication and significant contributions to Rhode Island softball. Her tenacity, patience and hard work will forever be appreciated by her friends, family and the Cranston softball community.”

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