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Apr, 2024

Instead of a lengthy speech, please read

I don't know about the rest of you - but hearing adults speak as child is BORING. But there's things that would have and probably should be communicated out while I have the attention of all of us adult like human beings. So in lieu of a lengthy speech, I'm sending it to you in email.
When I took on the role of president last year there were multiple things identified where we needed to roll up our sleeves and start addressing so we can make PLL a great place for our kids to make friends and learn the game of base/softball. It was a laundry pile of everything from finances, umpires, fields, uniforms, lack of training, volunteers, snack shack, coaches, competitive level, machines, the list goes on and on and on. But we are all volunteers so we had to pick out what our targets would be for the 2024 Season. Here are a couple of items that need to be discussed so we can move on to 61 years of PLL:
In October when our new board took office, we had just under $800 in the general funds with an operating budget for 2023 just around $420K, I say around because we literally just identified/paid for an umpire bill for the fall season. Last year we spent around $65K in field rentals alone and easily on average use little over $10K worth of balls in the first couple months of spring season. So here's what we did:
  • Identified areas to cut back and make wiser decisions: Uniforms & Fields being two of the bigger ticket items
  • Incremental small but mighty impact calls: things like not getting our logo printed on balls which adds between $1-2 a ball. Sounds small but when you are talking $80 compared $100 for a dozen balls, it adds up!
  • As much as it pained us, we did increase registration fees to help cover the operational costs. Based on projected uniform, fields, equipment, etc needs we identified what we felt would help cover it.
So why do we fundraise? Why is finding amazing sponsors so important? We support kiddos in a school district where 35% are on free/reduced lunch. Sports should be for EVERY KID who has the desire to play. By fundraising and getting amazing sponsors we are able to keep our registrations below the $200 & $300 mark for most divisions while other local little leagues do not. Not every family can afford the $150-200 registration fee! We have a standing policy to help every family whether it is a temporary thing or long term thing to ensure their player is able to register and have the right equipment to play. 
Our Fundraising Committee has basically been working this like a second full time job and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts in helping our kids. I implore anyone who has capacity in their financial lives to help out whether that's coming out to the auction and raising that paddle to hey I have an extra $10 let me just Venmo that. I remember very clearly my parents checking all the couch cushions for spare change before registration one year as all 3 of us, myself and my siblings were gonna play ball for Pacific Little League. Times were tough for us, they would have been one of those families to qualify for scholarships but wanted to make sure that other families who were in rougher shape were able to get it. Now that us kids are out of the house, they became league sponsors this last year. And yes I may be crying a little as I write that last bit. 
I say all this because I know a lot of you have been, well getting irritated with the amount of "come support PLL" asks. The next time you see that email or Facebook post about fundraising, please think of that boy or girl whose parents may be digging through the couch cushions just to find enough money so that they can buy a mitt or pay for registration. That is why we do what we do.
Now that I've asked you to open up your wallets, I'm gonna ask for something else of you, you. Pacific Little League has been a long standing non-profit org completely run by volunteers. From fields to coaching to umpiring, as all of our lives have gotten busier and busier. I know that if it was for grandparents and aunts/uncles close by I wouldn't be able to have my own girls do what they do if it wasn't for their help in chauffeuring them around. If coaching, umpring, or being able to spend a couple of hours at the snack shack or one of our field days is just too much. That's ok - there are so many small things that make a huge difference!
  • Raking - after the game please help clean up our fields by raking or putting the bases away. 
  • Cleanup the dugouts - let you coaches speak to the kids and help put the gear away
Those two little things make a huge difference to both your coaches who are giving up their family to help your players along with keeping our fields stay amazing. There are others too I could list but I've already written a novel and want to leave you with this one remaining easy peasy thing that does not cost any money nor time.
From our volunteers on the field to off, but most importantly to those players. Everyone is out there doing the best that they can do to their own abilities. Let's all be the role models for our kids of what a little bit of grace can do in someone's life.
Thank you for reading through this message and now let's get out there and play ball!

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