Benefiting from the generosity of Chevy’s Youth Baseball Initiative, Harlan Little League received a $500 check and approximately $2,500 in equipment.
“We have just signed up to be a part of Chevy’s local marketing program,” said Eric Creech, Creech Chevrolet General Manager.
Creech added equipment included in the donation were: ball bags, back packs, water bottles, ball buckets, T-shirts and pitching nets.
Now in its eighth year, Chevy Youth Baseball is a grassroots initiative that establishes a positive relationship between local dealers and the communities they serve. Chevy dealers sponsor their local youth baseball leagues as a part of Chevrolet’s nationwide commitment to support youth sports, one community at a time.
Silas Whitehead, first-year president of the Harlan Little League, but 13-year veteran with the Little League organization, said he found the Chevy Youth Baseball Initiative after researching the Internet for grants.
“I contacted Eric and expressed my interest in obtaining a grant from this initiative and he was very pleased to assist me with this endeavor,” said Whitehead. “Creech Chevrolet also sponsors a baseball team in the Harlan Little League.”
Opening day for Harlan Little League is April 5 beginning at 10 a.m. at Huff Park in Harlan.
“During our opening day festivities, Creech Chevrolet will be hosting a fundraiser for Harlan Little League. Anyone who test drives a Chevrolet product on opening day from Creech Chevrolet in Harlan, they will donate $20 to the Harlan Little League,” said Whitehead. “I’m encouraging everyone to come out on April 5 and do a test drive. This is something Joe Creech, owner of Creech Chevrolet, is doing to give back to the community.”
Whitehead said he is expecting a crowd of approximately 2,000 on opening day.
“We have invited many dignitaries from across the state — legislators and congressmen, along with our local officials,” said Whitehead. “We’ll be presenting awards to some of our local officials for their continued dedication to Harlan Little League.”
Whitehead said there will also be inflatables for the children to enjoy, a mini carnival and different organizations will be on hand with booths. Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation will be doing free health care screenings for the event.
With only 175 kids playing in the league last year, Whitehead said this year they have over 500 kids signed up to play.
“I give all the credit for this increase to the wonderful board of directors I have: James Earl Hensley, player agent, who has put in countless hours recruiting these kids, my wife, Kimberly Whitehead, vice-president of softball, Danny Soublo, safety director, Garry Henson, treasurer, Bobby Cornett, secretary and Rod Sargent, coaching coordinator.”
Whitehead added through dedicated teamwork from his staff and himself the Harlan Little League has seen a great increase and renewed interest in the sport of baseball. He added the league is in great need of scoreboards at Huff Park and Rhea Field.
“We just want our kids to come back out and have the opportunity to enjoy America’s favorite pass time — baseball,” Whitehead said. “I’m just the captain right now, guiding the ship. It’s all about the kids and giving them something to look forward to and be a part of.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-909-4147 or on Twitter @Nola_hde