Rick's Shelter - Osceola Parks and recreation

The new shelter, memorializing Rick Courcier, can be seen just west of the concession stand at the Osceola Sports Complex.

In the fall of 2020, Osceola lost a friend in Rick Courcier. At the young age of 37, after a long battle with cancer, Rick passed, leaving a legacy of community dedication and impacting each and every person he’d met. To memorialize Rick and all he gave to Osceola, his closest friends, his family, the staff at Osceola’s Park and Recreation, the City of Osceola staff, and City Council took action, building a new shelter at the Osceola Sports Complex. “Rick’s Shelter” is a special project intended to continue Rick’s dedication to the community and help perpetuate his love of the life he, his family, and friends experienced through the programs.

From an early age, Rick was drawn to sports and activities where he and his friends created bonds that would last a lifetime. A 2001 graduate and baseball standout from Clarke Community Schools, Rick and his team mates would spend long days and longer weekends at the Osceola Sport Complex making special memories.

“The times spent playing ball with Rick were some of the best,” said Ryan Rychnovsky, fellow Clarke graduate and pitcher for the Indians. “He was more than our catcher or a team mate; he was a friend and a true leader.”

In 2001, Rick took his passion for sports and community and pursued an internship with the Osceola Parks and Recreation department.

“Rick was one of my first hires,” said Dan Cooper, Osceola Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “His passion and commitment to the kids as well as excitement for our programs made his time here special, to say the least.”

With Osceola Parks and Rec., Rick found his calling. His time with the organization drove him to attend the University of Northern Iowa and ultimately graduate with a degree in Leisure, Youth, and Human Services. This enabled him to continue his passion for sports, recreation, and youth programs throughout central Iowa. By 2017, Rick had reached the position of Recreation Supervisor with the Pleasant Hill Parks and Recreation Department.

Rick’s childhood friend, Ryan Rychnovsky, was the primary driver behind the development of Rick’s Shelter as a memorial. When he brought the idea to Rick’s family and subsequently the city and park board, everyone was immediately in favor of the program.

“The shelter really brings Rick’s life and our love for him full circle,” said Rychnovsky.

Once funding for the project was locked in – most from donations from local organizations, businesses, and community members who knew and loved Rick – the challenge of construction was graciously met through the volunteering of Osceola’s Mike Henry.

“Mike was one of the biggest blessings to this entire program,” said Dan Cooper. “He spent a lot of time to help complete the shelter.”

Rick’s Shelter, located to the west of the concession stand at the Osceola Sports Complex, now stands tall with picnic tables and ample space for everyone who uses the facilities -– all in honor of one of Osceola’s finest community leaders.

The Courcier family was sure to provide a note of thanks to go out to: Ryan Rychnovsky, “…for remembering his catcher,” Rick’s classmates and friends, as well as Ryan Lundquist and Highway Lumber, Shorts Concrete Cutting, the Osceola Street Department, Dan Cooper and the Osceola Parks and Recreation Department, and Mike Henry and his “… great carpentry work.”

“Really, when it’s all said and done, we just wanted to give back to Rick the love and support he’d blessed us with,” said Ryan Rychnovsky.

If you have questions or would like more information about Rick’s Shelter or would like more information about programs through the Osceola Parks and recreation Department, please reach out to Osceola City Hall and the Parks and Recreation Department at 115 N Fillmore St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: (641) 342-2288.

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