KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va (WOWK) – A local little league is out more than a thousand dollars worth of equipment after its storage facility was broken into for the second time in as many weeks.
The Dunbar Little League program, home to dozens of little leaguers, has been around for more than sixty-five years and is a favorite within the community. But a recent string of thefts in the neighborhood have targeted the program, and now league officials have been forced to start all over again.
“When they come up and give you a hug because they want to see coach everyday, you know you have done a good thing. And there is no feeling that can replace that,” remarks Blanks Wiley, president of the Dunbar Little League.
However, over the last two weeks, their field of dreams has become a nightmare.
“It really hurts my heart that someone would want to come in and steal from these kids that are all twelve years old and under,” remarks Wiley.
The first time, the thieves got away with more than five hundred dollars worth of snacks and goods used for their end of the year party, taken from the concession stand.
The next week, the thieves got away with more than one thousand dollars worth of equipment, much of which was donated to the teams by Nike.
Wiley said the program keeps extra equipment, like gloves and bats, so that every child gets a chance to experience the program, regardless of their socioeconomic background.
“We hustle, whether it’s through car washes, what we do in the concession stand here, hot dog sales… anything we can do to make money for these kids to give them a better experience,” said Wiley.
Wiley says he’s not worried about the equipment – it can be replaced, but he’s more concerned about stolen opportunities. The program has already started to plan fundraisers to rebuild their funds and extra equipment.
If you are interested in helping, you can do so by reaching out to the program through their Facebook page.