GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WWBT) - A major retailer is donating $10,000 to a Henrico softball team in order to help them get to the World Series!
Danielle Harris, a team mom for the 12U Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association softball team, told NBC12 Tuesday that Walmart will donate $10,000 to the team’s effort in traveling to the Babe Ruth World Series at the end of July.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Harris said. “We can’t thank them enough.”
The team became state champions in its age bracket on July 7, beating Shenandoah at the tournament in Manassas.
“The first hit of the game, actually the first pitch was Abbi,” said Julia Hinton, who plays third base and catches. “She hit a home run, so we got really pumped after that.”
“It was amazing,” Harris said. “They just looked like a completely different team in the second game on championship day.”
That win qualified the team for the 2019 Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida from July 25 through Aug. 3.
Because Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association is a recreational league, the team has to pay for most of its own things, which left the players several thousand dollars short in order to make this trip achievable.
“It's approximately $3,000 per player that's needed," Harris said.
That money goes towards player uniforms required by the tournament, accommodations, travel expenses, etc.
“So far we’ve raised $5,000,” Harris said.
That money was raised through donation boxes, a GoFundMe and even some baking skills.
"The first idea that popped into my mind was maybe I can sell my cookie cakes, because I get a lot of requests for them," Harris said.
Harris has made nearly 20 cakes for families all across RVA. With 10 days left before the tournament starts, she hopes the GoFundMe will see more activity.
"I would love for everyone to be inspired by our group, and also girl empowerment,” Harris said. “This is a huge accomplishment and a chance to represent the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association in a positive way."
While the girls have helped out with the fundraising efforts, parents like Harris said they’d rather have the girls focus on the field, not the money.
“We have practice every day,” said Ann Peyton-Duncan, who plays first base and pitches. “Whether we’re baking for the day, we always have softball we can focus on.”
“We’ve played really hard to get to this point,” said Mollie Harris, who plays second base. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The girls will have the chance to meet players from different states and around the world at the World Series tournament.
“We’re really looking forward to that,” the group said.
There’s no word yet on when the team will receive the check from Walmart.
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