The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

May 16, 2008

Alliant Energy Field will go peanut-free on Monday

CLINTON — Alliant Energy Field and the Clinton LumberKings will be holding a peanut-free baseball game Monday at 7 p.m., so that peanut-allergic fans can enjoy the great American pastime without fear of a reaction.

According to Christy Campie, an organizer of the event, no peanuts or peanut-containing products will be served during the game, and the stadium will be washed down to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.

“It’s just going to be a night for people who are allergic to come and not have to worry about the peanuts being all around,” said Campie, whose 7-year-old son, Eric, has a life-threatening peanut allergy. “People don’t realize how severe an allergy can be. They don’t understand that just being around peanuts might cause a problem for somebody who’s allergic.”

Campie noted that her son is passionate about baseball and does attend LumberKings games, although he is unable to consume most of the foods served there, and has to be very cautious of where he sits.

“We have to sit far away from anybody (who is eating peanuts,)” Campie said. “It’ll be a whole lot nicer to know he can go and sit wherever he wants, and not have to worry about it.”

According to Campie, Ted Tornow, general manager for the LumberKings, was inspired to hold the event after attending a recent convention where the idea was discussed.

Tornow recalled that Campie and her co-workers had requested a peanut-free area for a party at the stadium last year, and contacted her to see if she was interested in helping to organize a stadium-wide event.

“This is important to them,” Campie said. “They are really involved in the community.”

The first known Minor League peanut-free night was held last summer at the home of the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Ill., at the request of a father who hoped his young peanut-allergic son could attend his first complete Minor League game. According to a release from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, 5-year-old Ethan Leiter-Weintraub, of Western Springs, Ill., is an ardent baseball fan, but was forced to leave the only Major League game he ever attended due to a reaction to peanut dust floating in the air.

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