YOUNGSVILLE — It is the dream destination of every young baseball player. And this year, the Youngsville Red All-Stars, a coach-pitch team of 7- and 8-year olds, is headed there: the Dixie Youth World Series in Texarkana, Ark., The contest begins Friday and runs through Monday.
But getting there ain’t cheap.
It will cost the All-Stars $18,000-$20,000 to take 12 kids, four coaches and a few parents for chaperoning, according to Pete Gibson, director of Parks and Recreation for the town of Youngsville.
This is the first time a Franklin County team has reached this level of play, which is both exciting and daunting. While the Youngsville Parks and Recreation fees help cover regular season play, tournaments are at the expense of the individual teams.
At the Youngsville town board meeting Thursday, Gibson was able to secure $3,000 out of parks and recreation funds, but that still leaves a substantial amount to raise in a very short time.
So Gibson is reaching out to the community for help.
“We are soliciting corporate donations of any amount to assist these kids in this once in a lifetime experience,” Gibson wrote in an e-mail Friday. “Any help is appreciated.”
Team parent Eileen Darcy LeBlanc is hoping individuals will also help. She has set up a donation site at gofundme.com/anfs7k.
“Youngsville Coach Pitch All-Stars have worked hard to advance,” she writes on the site. “Participating in this tournament and working towards the trophy makes our boys so motivated and proud. … You could help change the life of a young aspiring baseball player today.”
Gibson says he needs commitments for donations by Friday. To help, contact Gibson at 910-617-8217 or firstname.lastname@example.org or see the gofundme.com page.