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Sharpsburg makes donation to reduce Little League fees

February 03, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - Hoping more Sharpsburg area children will be able to participate in Little League this year, the Town Council voted 4-1 Monday night to make a donation to reduce registration fees.

Council members Russ Weaver, Jeffery Saylor, Marjorie Jamison and Ralph Hammond voted to have the town donate $1,170 to cover the league's charter and insurance costs. Councilwoman Patti Hammond voted no.

Councilman J.W. Eichelberger was absent.

Weaver prompted the vote by telling Sharpsburg Little League President Doug Moyers he didn't think children should have to pay fees to be in Little League. Perhaps the fees were why attendance has been declining, he said at the monthly mayor and council meeting in a Town Hall.

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Ralph Hammond said he was not "going to have a kid not play ball because his parents can't afford $25."

The donation was made with the stipulation that registration fees would be cut about in half, Weaver said.

Before the donation, it was to cost $25 for the first child from a family and $15 for the second child, Moyers said. Additional children would play free.

After the meeting, Moyers said the fee was raised $5 from $20 last year, when there were 147 participants.

Attendance has declined, but Moyers said he didn't know if it was because of the fees. He said some children were playing soccer instead of baseball.

If the town's donation helps improve attendance, that's great, Moyers said.

The league is supposed to field four major league teams to keep its charter, but the league lost 22 12-year-old players since last year and might have trouble finding enough children ages 9 to 12 to make four teams, Moyers said.

The league might get a waiver from the district office to allow only three major league teams, he said.

Moyers said he would try to get sponsors to help pay for uniforms and equipment, which is getting more expensive. He could report back to the council on his progress at the March 1 council meeting.

Weaver said he wants to see registration fees cost even less or be free.

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