Should Little League program refocus its priorities? | Letters | April 30
April 30, 2010 · 11:08 AM
We have a vibrant baseball Little League on the island. Over the years, many children have benefited from the experience of team sports as a result of Bainbridge Island Little League (BILL).
Last Saturday, BILL held a bat-athon fundraiser resulting in $37,000 being donated, which is a testament to the reputation and support they enjoy from the community. When Ed’s Shed burned down, the community rallied around the league and raised money to help.
Originally, I was excited for BILL, but the figure $37,000 continued to gnaw at me, and a sense of displaced priority and messaging to our youth prevailed.
Little League was founded as volunteer sport to build a community, a place to have fun and learn the lessons of being a team. As former board member of BILL, and parent of two boys in the league for many years, I have observed a profound change in the league’s focus for winning vs. playing, state of the art fields, exceptional competitiveness beyond what is appropriate for a youth sport, and increased need for funding as a result.
So I challenge the league to give back, and consider the message it is sending to the children in the league. Do we really need better fields or can we live with safe and good. Do we need a scoreboard and PA system? I have been to many fields where there is none of these and the kids play nonetheless.
Wouldn’t a more powerful lesson be to give the money to Helpline House, which is in serious shortage as a result of increased demand, or donate to build a water well in countries where kids don’t clean running water vs. a nicer bathroom at Rotary?
I respectfully ask the board and the families who pledged to reconsider the use of these funds and make a huge difference that these kids will remember for a lifetime.
Lynn Ferrari Rodriguez