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Diane Crookham-Johnson has never forgotten her time as a high school student in Charles City.

She was particularly fond of her five years with the Comette softball team, not as a player, but as a manager before graduating in 1984.

Now a judge based in Oskaloosa, Crookham-Johnson was looking for some way to put a tangible form of appreciation to her memories.

With the Charles City School District developing a new baseball/softball complex that was absent lighting because of the cost, Crookham-Johnson felt she found that appreciation, and it was announced three weeks ago that Charles City would have state-of-the-art LED lighting through a donation orchestrated by Crookham-Johnson and her family business, MUSCO Lighting.

On Monday, Crookham-Johnson returned to Charles City for a more formal ceremony prior to the Comet softball game against Crestwood.

“I have always wanted to do something to help,” Crookham-Johnson said. “This was just the right time. It is nice to be able to give back.”

The lighting, which is expected to be in place for 2020 baseball and softball seasons, is expected to be valued between 400 and 500 thousand dollars.

“This is an amazing donation to our program and community,” Charles City softball coach Brian Bohlen said. “We have such an amazing following.”

The ceremony was designed to reflect the tradition of Charles City softball and baseball as youth players, current players and alumnae were invited to the softball team to jointly receive an oversized check for $500,000.

With such a donation, Bohlen and the Charles City community hope that the tradition of Comet summer athletics will continue to be viable for seasons to come.

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