Sports

Where everybody plays: Snoqualmie Valley's Little League volunteers pass on game’s tradition

  - Carol Ladwig / Snoqualmie Valley Record
— image credit: Carol Ladwig / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Thanks to a lot of hard work by volunteers, rain couldn’t keep the pitches and hits away forever at local ball parks this spring.

Passing on the traditions and skills of the game of baseball from one generation to the next remains the mission of the Snoqualmie Valley Little League and Falls Little League, where more than a hundred unpaid helpers keep things moving. Everyone from coaches to the umpires put in their effort without a paycheck.

“Our focus is 100 percent on how we service the kids of our community,” said Falls Little League President Dave Luchtel.  “Our volunteers are here to support the kids.”

He sees the sport as a basic community service. Little League stands out with its inclusiveness.

“You sign up, you get on a team,” Luchtel said.

“Our longstanding policy is that every kid plays, no matter what,” said SVLL President Chris Bennett. “We tend to give away a lot of free registrations.”

This year, the group gave more than $4,000 in scholarships. Parents of children who receive help are asked to donate time instead of money.

The two leagues are always looking for volunteers—“the more the merrier,” Bennett said. People don’t have to know anything about coaching to help. Community-minded folks can always step up into support positions. Donations are also always needed. Locals can help contribute to scholarships for individual children to play.

Bennett said many folks might be surprised by the costs that go into Little League.

“It’s a lot more than just a uniform,” he said. Business sponsorships help with many needs. It’s a small donation that goes a long way.

• To learn about Falls Little League, visit www.fallsll.org.

• Learn about the Snoqualmie Valley Little League at http://www.svll.net/home.php.

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