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Little League Moves Forward In Mesquite - Slideshow
Posting Date: 07/05/2012

By John Taylor
Supporters of Little League line up for a pancake breakfast Wednesday at the Senior Center. Photo by John Taylor.

Supporters of Little League line up for a
pancake breakfast Wednesday at the Senior
Center. Photo by John Taylor.

Supporters of the newly formed Virgin Valley Little League came out in droves for a fund raising pancake breakfast at the senior center and to kick off the Fourth of July activities. Councilman Geno Withelder, well known for his tireless efforts of supporting community causes, and members of the Elks club set up cooking facilities in the parking lot of the center and began flipping pancakes as the crowd began to arrive. Once the meal was cooked, guests could enjoy breakfast inside the center.

Withelder reported to the Mesquite Citizen Journal Thursday morning that breakfast sales garnered $748.07, and donations equaled another $350.50.

During the afternoon Ice Cream Social sales at the Eureka Vendor Village, the Little League gathered another $116.00 with additional donations of $135.35.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of the citizens of Mesquite to throw their support behind this cause. It's going to do some really wonderful, fun things for the kids in Mesquite. All of us want to thank everyone who has helped us so much with these events," Withelder told the MCJ.

The idea for the Virgin Valley Little League came about when Lou Martin, Exalted Ruler of the Mesquite Elks Lodge, noticed local baseball teams had to forfeit games due to lack of players. Martin began to ask some of the parents why this was happening and the answer surprised him. There was no program in Mesquite to teach kids baseball, they said.

Martin, through the Elks Lodge 2811, took that as a challenge. More than 50 parents and kids showed up for the first informational advisory meeting on June fourth about forming a baseball league. An advisory board consisting of Withelder, Nick Montoya, Recreation Center Superintendent, and several others agreed Little League would be good for the kids of Mesquite. Fund raising and a plan of action was drawn up with the Elks providing seed money toward the cause.

Initially, four teams consisting of 12 players will

compete in three age brackets, 8-10, 10-12, and 12-14. T-ball will be handed by the recreation center. “There will be a cost to the player,” said Martin. “Costs will help cover equipment, uniforms and insurance but we will truly not leave any kid behind who can't afford to pay. This is all about the kids.”

Martin said the little league hopes to be able to purchase what they need through the recreation center to help keep costs down. The immediate goal is to raise $4,000 dollars for admission to Little League International and to cover insurance. Fundraisers and grants will be used to cover expenses. The season will start in March but the planning is well under way now. The Elks also will have a booth selling ice cream at the Eureka from 6 to 8 p.m. during fourth of July activities there.

“This will be a good outdoor activity to keep kids from only playing video games,” said Montoya. “We look forward to the formation of Little League.” Montoya and several other recreation center employees were on hand to help with the pancake breakfast.

The Board of Directors for the Virgin Valley Little League will be Lou Martin, Nick Montoya, Dan Wright and Shelley Stenberg. The league will consist of Mesquite, Bunkerville, Beaver Dam and Scenic. Questions about the Virgin Valley Little League should be directed to anyone on the Board of Directors.

Following the pancake breakfast, a day of free activities at the recreation center included basketball skill contests, water balloon tosses, watermelon football, races against the lifeguards, face painting and music. “The event is always a lot of fun and the family can enjoy the open swim and other activities during the heat of the day,” said Montoya.

Among the winners in the basketball 3 point contests were Jason Brooks (1st Place), Kirsten Tanner (2nd Place) and Cody Heathcock and Troy Tanner tied for third. In the Free Throw contest Kirsten Tanner took first place, followed by Bridger Derheim in second and Jason Brooks in third.


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