JOHNNY FLORES, JR/Coachella Unincorporated
Coachella, Calif. – Resident Rudy Gutierrez brought Little League baseball to Coachella in 2009 and it has grown in popularity since. As the organization prepares for its fifth season, it desperately needs funds in order to continue providing much-needed recreational opportunities to youth.
Gutierrez is inviting residents and businesses to attend a fundraiser benefitting Coachella Little League on Thursday, February 28, at Bagdouma Park.
“We are looking for gently used equipment – balls, throw down bases, bats, catchers equipment, and helmets,” he said. “We need to raise $3000 for insurance and the Little League charter and $6000 to pay the city for field, snack bar, and light use.”
There is no cost to attend, but Gutierrez is hoping community members and businesses will step up to the plate and make donations.
Gutierrez is anticipating serving over 250 players this season, which means he will need to raise an additional $15,000 for uniforms.
Coachella Little League also offers Challenger Division, which allows boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities to enjoy the sport of baseball.
Gutierrez, who lives in Coachella with his wife and two sons, was once a Little League player himself and has been working hard to revitalizing the Little League organization as well as renewing the dormant Parks and Recreation Committee in the city of Coachella.
“I decided to get involved because I got tired of hearing about our community not having good youth sports programs,” said Gutierrez.
If Gutierrez and the Little League organization do not raise 30,000, they may lose the rights to the baseball park and will no longer be able to offer the Challenger Division. Gutierrez has raised approximately $2,500 toward this goal.
“People should come to this fundraiser to pay it forward and get involved with a great organization like Little League. When a town or neighborhood looks to join Little League, it can take comfort in knowing the ‘Little League’ name is the most recognized and respected name in youth sports,” he said. “Using the ‘Little League’ brand to grow our local program and with the assurance that the league’s children and adult volunteers are the highest priority gives credibility to our league. Through its name and the many opportunities Little League offers, this generation of children can make a lifetime of memories. I want people to walk away knowing they were apart of something big and wonderful, and we could not do this without their support.”
Founded in 1939 by Carl Stotz, Little League baseball was designed to give pre-teen boys in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a baseball league of their own. On June 6,1939, the first Little League game was played. In 1947, the first Little League World Series took place. Fast forward over sixty years, and Little League baseball is one of the largest youth sports organizations in the world. Over 2.6 million kids are playing in over 75 countries.
For information regarding Thursday’s fundraiser or if your child would like to join Coachella Little League or Challenger Division, please contact Rudy Gutierrez at [email protected] or (760) 481-5800.