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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 10 years ago

Maitland City Talk

Mayor Doug Kinson

This past Saturday, Maitland Little League brought families together for one of the most enjoyable and energetic events during the course of the year — Maitland Little League Opening Day.

The day started bright and early with the traditional parade that began at Maitland Middle School and continued through our Dommerich neighborhoods, along Horatio, through downtown, along Sandspur Road and ending at the Maitland Ballfield Complex on Keller Road. I was honored to participate in the Mayor’s “pace” car along with my daughter Kaley and her friend Lizzy. They will admit we did so much waving, our arms tired from the activity. And with the sirens and flashing lights of the fire trucks and police cruisers to the many trucks, limos and boats decked out with children and trimmings, this event was one that will be remembered!

Once at the complex, all enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs cooked perfectly once again by the Maitland Men’s Club. A special addition this year was the pizza provided by the new kids on the block — NYPD Pizza. In tough economic times, it is a pleasure to attend a family event with so much food, fun and games without having to worry about money!

Maitland Little League has a long tradition in our community and has provided guidance and direction for our children both on and off the field for more than 46 years. Each and every year, Maitland Little League serves nearly 400 players, hosts more than 600 games, and is recognized as one of the area’s leading programs.

The past few years have been special for me as girls softball has become an integral part of the day for many more families involved in Little League. Just a few years ago, softball held their own opening day and parade, and now all of our families enjoy the festivities of the day together.

Maitland Little League is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that exists for the benefit of our children such that our coaches may teach them teamwork, sportsmanship, fair play and most of all, how to enjoy the game. For generations, Little League has taught our children honesty, courage, loyalty and respect. A child’s dream of becoming a superstar pales in comparison to the life lessons learned on the baseball field.

Little League Opening Day is a great opportunity to connect with families. I met with parents concerned about parks and fields, schools, as well as the issues of the day facing Maitland’s City Council. Besides going door-to-door during a campaign, there is no better way to connect to a community than being a part of Little League’s Opening Day!

Jeff Jakes said it best when he gave his opening remarks reminding us about how Little League is just one step on a long journey of dedication to family values that last a lifetime. He could not have been more in touch with the example that Little League offers our families.

The city of Maitland is proud of our rich history with Maitland Little League and works diligently to provide high-quality, well-maintained fields our players and families can enjoy. The city regularly gets e-mails noting how the fields compare to professional fields across the country.

Many thanks go out to this year’s president, Pete Opresko, to Little League’s Board of Directors, to all the parents who dedicate their time, and to all the financial and in-kind sponsors who make events such as this possible. Without your effort and support, our families could not enjoy such a wonderful day!

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