EATON — Community leaders, as well as coaches and board members from Eaton Little League showcased their talents in an effort in to raise money for much needed upgrades and equipment for the little league program during a charity softball game.
The game was played Friday, June 29, at the Eaton Little League Complex in front of 125-150 spectators, according to event organizers.
And despite a few injuries — some more serious than others — the game proved to be a successful event.
The event was billed as Leaders vs. Legends.
“Our committee members got it together. Brain Hoefler was the big mastermind behind everything. So him and a couple other board members got together and took the idea and ran with it,” Eaton Little League President Kevin Melling said.
Eaton Little League officials invited elected officials, first responders and local business owners to take part in the game.
The Leaders won the game over the Legends, 10-6, scoring six runs in their final two at-bats.
“It was pretty exciting for the first year,” Melling said. “I’m real proud of our board for doing this. Hopefully, we can continue for next year.”
Melling said the program is in need of a fencing project, which he said the funds raised will help.
“We have a major fencing project that we need to take care of for all fields for the safety of the park,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of foul balls go into the concession stand here lately. We want to protect that area.”
He said the Junior League building is also in need of repair.
“We can’t really allow kids up there to do the announcing like we do up here (at the Major League Field),” Melling said. “It’s kind of unsafe.”
Melling said any amount raised will help and is appreciated.
“We’ll take as much as we can get and we’ll try to improve year to year,” he said.
Several local businesses donated items which were raffled off at the game.
The Leaders team consisted of Rodney Creech, Bob Brower, Ken Haurbaum, Steve Hurd, Josh Moreland, Brad Turner, Nick Williams, Andy Borgwardt, Dave Ditmer, Kevin Deaton, Ernie Hatmaker, Jeff Travis, Denise Robertson, Jeff Parker, Kyle Cross and Brad Moore.
The Legends (coaches and board members of the ELL) included, Hoefler, Melling, Todd Appledorn, Nathan Hake, Scott Stevenson, JD Grubb, Frank Marshall, Bob Bedinghouse, Matt Elstro, Nate Hammond, Ricky Shaffer, Martin Cole, Les Jerdon, Matt Keeting, Christina Davidson, Jim Wilson, Nick Willard, Mike Jenkins, Kyle Boyd, Ami Stevenson, Stacy Melling and Joe Miller.
“I’d like to keep doing this. This was a tremendous experience,” he said. “Unfortunately, we had some injuries and had some go down. We hope those guys nurse themselves back to health real quick.”
Melling said Eaton Little League is open to all county residents.
“We‘re the only Little League organization within the county,” Melling said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH