Charlottesville, VA, June 17, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Following a round of severe budget cuts earlier this spring, Albemarle County informed the Lane Babe Ruth League of Charlottesville that as of July 1, 2010, the County would no longer fund the lights at Gardner Field. Faced with these cuts mid-year, league organizers did not have resources in their budget to pick up the slack, and they feared that players and their families would have to struggle to absorb the cost. To their relief, organizers say, ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center has offered to provide the funds needed to keep the lights on for the next 18 months.
“We were thunderstruck by ACAC’s offer,” says Shannon Wilder, league president. “We never expected that we would find this level of support in the community and are thrilled that there is this much support for what we have to offer.” According to Wilder, losing the lights would have greatly diminished the league’s ability to operate. Aside from a short break in August, the league holds evening practices and games from early March through the end of October. Without lights, Wilder says, the number of practices and games would have been cut by more than half.
ACAC, which for years has sponsored youth recreation at Cove Creek Park and through organizations like SOCA and CAYLC, is happy to help. “The Lane Babe Ruth League fulfills a real need in our community,” says Phil Wendel, owner of ACAC. “It is a small price to pay for keeping kids in the game.”
The Lane Babe Ruth League receives approximately 325 registrations each year from players ages 13 – 19. The goal of the league is to provide organized regulation baseball at the community level. For players who are too old for Little League and who do not have the opportunity to play on a school team, the Babe Ruth League is their only option to play competitive baseball locally. The majority of players are from Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, but the league also serves players from Fluvanna, Greene, Madison and Orange.