The beginning of August marked more than just a new month for Winter Garden’s Jackie Lowe — it marked her first day as the new president of Winter Garden Little League and a new beginning for a new board of directors for the local organization.
Lowe, who has two children — John, 14, and Jacob, 8 — currently playing for WGLL, was one of two vice presidents for the previous board of directors and said she was ready to take the next step to help the league.
“I wanted to get more involved in the decision-making and being more involved with the behind-the-scenes work,” Lowe said.
She takes over for Matt Eidelman, president of WGLL for the last three years. Eidelman took over in 2015, and his time as president coincided with several positives for the league, including a ballooning participation of more than 500 local youth last spring.
“Matt did an amazing job for the past three years — he really brought it to a great place where it is now,” Lowe said. “We have so many more players and families involved, and I want to keep that going.”
In addition to the growth in participation — significant in a time where other baseball leagues regionally and nationally have struggled with declining participation — WGLL has enjoyed a notable increase in sponsorship from local business and heightened community involvement.
“I think we have great community relationships right now,” Lowe said, referencing the league’s relationship with the city of Winter Garden, as well as local businesses and families. “There are great interactions. (WGLL) is more of a family than an organization.”
"I think we have great community relationships right now. There are great interactions. (WGLL) is more of a family than an organization."
The 2018-19 board includes more than 30 members, another sign of the enthusiasm many parents and volunteers have for providing a first-class operation. The two vice presidents working with Lowe will be Josh Steele and Cameron McMillian, with Lori Gibson serving as treasurer and Todd Poires serving as secretary.
The new board is settling in ahead of the fall baseball season — which has registration ongoing and has tryouts scheduled for Aug. 25 — and Lowe said there have been meetings to discuss the foci for the months to come.
“We’re going to build on what the board from last year has done,” Lowe said. “We’re trying to make things bigger and better and stay on the right track.”
Above all else, this local mom is motivated to ensure that the experience for local youth at Winter Garden Little League continues to be first-class.
“I wanted to try and make things better for my boys,” she said. “They really enjoy baseball, and I want to make sure that is something they have good memories of.”