Lebanon’s 15-year-old all-stars are in Varina, Va., for the start of the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional after having raised over $11,000 for the trip.
While the Lions begin play, the Lebanon Americans are busy raising funds for their upcoming trip to the Dixie Youth O-Zone World Series in Lexington, S.C., next week.
Following opening ceremonies, the Lions will open pool play at noon CDT against Arlington, Va. Two more games follow Thursday and one Friday morning. The top two finishers from each of the two pools will hook up in a four-team single-elimination Saturday with the champion advancing to the Babe Ruth World Series in Longview, Wash., Aug. 20-27.
Lebanon league president David McKinney said $11,300 was raised. He said he was hoping for around $7,000.
“It was an amazing amount of support,” McKinney said. “I was amazed at the amount people gave us.
“I just hope the Lebanon [Youth Baseball] will do well. I’m sure they will. I don’t think we tapped the whole community out.”
Fundraising efforts by the LYB to send the Americans to South Carolina are well underway. Baskin Robbins had a night for the team last Friday. Two restaurants who held nights for the Babe Ruth team will have similar fundraisers for the Dixie Youth team.
Chick-fil-A will donate a percentage of sales from 4-8 p.m. today to the team. Players will be at Painturo’s from 4-8 p.m. Friday to help serve food and drinks, coach Scott Sorce said. A tip jar will be set aside for the team. A percentage of the restaurant’s profit from the entire day will also go to the team.
The Americans will be around the front entrance at Kroger from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday to collect donations. Sorce said he wouldn’t mind sending players to help carry groceries to customers’ cars.
Sorce said LYB is looking to raise $15,000 to cover expenses for the trip. People who can’t make it to Chick-fil-A, Painturo’s or Kroger but wish to donate may do so at Lebanon Youth Baseball, PO Box 751, Lebanon, Tn., 37088.
“It’s been crazy,” Sorce said of the reaction from the townspeople in the week since returning home from Sweetwater with the league’s second state Dixie Youth title [the Rotary League won the state in 2008]. “I get choked when I talk about this. The outpouring of support, the handshakes, the congratulations.
“It makes me so proud to be a part of this community.”