LAKE WALES, Fla. -- A Polk County Little League Baseball league that has been around for more than sixty years needs help fixing up its field and replacing equipment damaged during Hurricane Irma.
The storm left behind sagging ceiling tiles from water damage. Insulation tossed around in its building. Now mold is growing inside.
"This room didn't get it as bad," said Jim Maggard, the president of Lake Wales Baseball League, showing the inside the top floor of the building which housed all their equipment. "We probably lost about 80% of our baseball equipment. Just replacing that, you’re in the $10 to $15,000 range."
The empty shelves are proof. Maggard says they could not get into the building until the city deemed it safe. By then mold had already set in.
The hurricane tore up the field, too. There are downed fences and missing batting cage nets. The scoreboard was destroyed. Maggard says it was overwhelming.
"The first thought is like I don’t know if this is going to happen," Maggard said of cleanup.
But not fixing this was not an option for the league. The kids are what matter most. He says the city is stepping in befpre the new season begins.
"They’re going to take care of certain things that have to be done for opening day and we’re blessed for that," Maggard said. "But we’ve got to get this equipment going, minor repairs for safety and things like that."
The league is asking for any donations to help repair the damage. It set up a GoFundMe page where you can contribute money.