RAINA BARNETT/Special to Alachua County Today
TheSanta Fe Babe Ruth Softball Girls 8 and Under team has qualified to play in the World Series in Jensen Beach on Aug. 8 - 11. Now they are raising money and looking for funding ot make their dream a reality.
ALACHUA – The Santa Fe Babe Ruth Softballs girls 8 and under team has qualified to play in the World Series in Jensen Beach on Aug. 8-11.
The only problem is finding the funding to get there.
Between jerseys, helmets, and other expenses linked to traveling, food, and team equipment, the team has to find creative ways to support themselves.
The cost for the 11 girls and their families to travel and stay for six nights at a hotel in Jensen Beach is $3,500.
“We’ve been doing a lot of fundraising the last two months,” said head coach Brian Mallard.
Mallard said money for the team comes from helmet drives, raffles, and sponsorships from places like Wal-Mart and local construction companies.
Local Babe Ruth President Bubba Burnham, who has been involved with coaching, said the coaches and parents often volunteer their own time and effort for the sake of the kids.
“The majority of this effort is run by volunteers, parents, and we even have volunteers show up who don’t have kids playing that just love the sport and want to help,” Burnham said.
The World Series takes superb effort from a united team and support system.
“We won districts, state, and then there’s the World Series,” said Mallard. “We won a world series qualifier about six weeks ago.”
The regular season runs from the last week of February to the first week of May.
Burnham explained what the World Series signifies.
“I don’t micro-manage, I just make sure everything goes as planned for the season, but getting all the way to World Series signifies you have competed with teams all over the country, like Washington State, North Carolina, even California.”
The farthest the team has travelled is Jacksonville for World Series Qualifiers.
If you want to find out more information about the team and how to help fundraise or donate, please contact Brian Mallard at 352-425-2902.
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