City of Winter Garden, Sports Authority partner with Little League to build playground
| 1:46 p.m. July 2, 2015
West Orange Times & Observer
WINTER GARDEN — On the morning of July 2, Winter Garden Little League celebrated a welcome addition — one that came just in the nick of time as the league prepared to host the District 14 12-Year-Old All-Stars Tournament, which began on Monday and runs through Sunday.
Winter Garden Little League President Randy Newton was joined by Winter Garden Mayor John Rees and Keith Wilson, the Community Marketing Manager for Sports Authority’s Central Florida stores, to commemorate the completion of a playground adjacent to the facility’s concession stand.
The playground has been a project in the works for the league for more than five years and came to fruition through a combination of $10,000 donated by Sports Authority, $7,000 contributed by the city and $16,000 raised by the league.
The hope is that the new facility will help reduce stress for families at the ballpark, giving siblings something to do while their brother or sister is on the diamond for a game.
“I think this is fantastic — it’s something that’s needed here,” Rees said. “With the age groups you have — from 5 all the way to 15 — you need something for the other children or siblings to do here. This is fantastic.”
On the league’s end, it was welcome news to hear that the city and Sports Authority would be lending a helping hand to complete the project.
“It’s a relief to have this finally done,” Newton said. “This has been a long time coming, and with Sports Authority and our relationship with the city, we finally just went for it.”
Winter Garden commissioners unanimously voted to contribute the $7,000 toward the project at a meeting in June.
With the contribution to Winter Garden Little League, Sports Authority has now gotten involved with five total baseball leagues in Central Florida as part of an initiative to build partnerships in the community. Donations and contributions also have been made to Union Park Little League in east Orlando, Kissimmee Little League, South Orlando Babe Ruth and West Volusia Babe Ruth, near Sanford.
“That’s Sports Authority’s whole goal — to give back,” Wilson said. “We appreciate Winter Garden Little League and all our partners, and we’re looking forward to spending many more years together.”