Donors put little league back in the game

May 27, 2008 8:40:23 PM PDT
For hundreds of kids in Camden the American pastime suddenly became an American nightmare. That until they were saved by some good old fashion American generosity. Now they're saying play ball again at Merrimack and Tennessee Roads.

Hitting the ball. Running the bases. All part of the game they love. A game tonight they thought wouldn't happen.

"I was just happy to see that people pulled together, you know? And the blessings came in," said parent Jessica Clifton.

They came in the form of brand new baseball bats, helmets and gloves, as well as t-ball equipment for the youngest players.

When asked what baseball means to him Fairview Little Leaguer Maurice Furman responded, "It means a lot, but the people that came in here and tore it up, messed it all up."

He's referring to this weekend when the recreation building for the Fairview Little League program was trashed. Mustard and ketchup covered the building from ceiling to floor. In addition, every piece of equipment stolen.

Thanks to donations from people who first heard the story on Action News the games can go on.

Quanyrah Houston tells Action News, "I felt very thankful for the people who gave donations to keep the baseball field open."

Thousands of dollars worth of equipment have now been given to the league, and donations continue to pour in.

The league now says they're better off now than they were before the vandals struck! That's because the Fairview Little League, one of the oldest leagues in South Jersey, operates on a shoe-string budget. The fields and building are maintained entirely by volunteers.

About 150 kids in all take advantage of what the league offers.

12-year-old Dayron Wagner hopes to make a career of what he's learning here. "I want to be a pitcher when I grow up and that means a lot to me, because I want to do something and not be on the streets when I grow up."

Now, these little leaguers can look forward to next month when they play in tournaments with other leagues in Camden County.

If you'd like to make a donation call the Fairview Little League clubhouse Monday through Friday between the 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. The number is (856) 962-8880.