McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 17, 2013

Volunteers repair Deerinwater Feild

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A group of volunteers, including a number of teens and children showed up Saturday for a special work day at Deerinwater Field in Krebs to help repair vandalism to the field’s facilities.

Their efforts, along with assistance and donations from several individuals and companies and the city of Krebs, have helped relieve some of the disappointment volunteers with the Pittsburg County Little League felt when they discovered vandalism to the facility and field earlier this month.

“I couldn’t ask for more dedicated people, like those in our community,” Pittsburg  County Little League Vice President Scott Logan said following the work day.

“It’s overwhelming, the support we got.”

PCLL Treasurer Josh Hass agreed.

“Saturday, more than any other time since PCLL started, I was completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the community, by the city of Krebs, but mostly the kids,” Hass said.

Earlier this month, Logan, Hass and other volunteers who work with PCLL were stunned at the destruction they saw at Deerinwater Field, where Pittsburg County Little League games are played.

Glass windows to the concession stand had been shattered after wooden shutters were ripped away.

Metal doors to the rest rooms had been damaged, apparently by a metal pole used as a battering ram and left at the scene.

Windows and doors to the press box were smashed in and some of the fencing surround the ball field had been yanked down.

Even parts if the bill field and grounds were eroded after the water supply normally used to irrigate the field had been turned on and left on overnight.

“How horrible it is to do this, to tear up something that was built for children,” Hass had said after viewing the destruction.

Now, after the outpouring of support following a report and photos in the News-Capital, much of the damage has been repaired and perhaps a little faith has been restored as well.

Not only did a number of volunteers show up to help during a special work day called Saturday to do repairs and prepare the field for the coming season, they did it on a day with low temperatures and an intermittent cold rain.

“It kinds of warms the heart a little bit — especially on a cold day like that,” Hass said.

Those who came to help assist weren’t only fair weather helpers. They stuck around after the rain started falling and continued to work until a downpour put the remaining tasks on hold.

“Honestly, the biggest contributors were our Little Leaguers themselves,” Logan said.

“There were approximately 15 kids who helped us,” he said. A number of those assisted by helping cut and lay sod, which volunteers moved from one side of the field to the other, more eroded side.

“It was their field and they jumped right in and helped,” Logan said, referring to the field where the Little League games are played.

While many of the tasks have been completed, another work day is tentatively set for 11 a.m. on Jan. 26, Logan said.

Logan said those who helped make the repairs and work possible included Krebs Mayor Bobby Watkins.

Cathey & Associates repaired the broken windows and damaged doors, Logan said.

Hass said Phil Vilar, one of the Little League dads, donated sacks of concrete.

Irby Construction gave a monetary donation, Logan said, while Hass said GC Rental allowed the volunteers to use equipment to fix things that needed fixing and to improve things that needed improving.

Dun Right Fence Company, owned by Brandon and Christen Robbins, donated chain link posts to replace posts that had been broken, said Hass.

Individuals helped as well.

Ryan Guyer, of Sears, donated time and a tractor, Logan said. Glynn Whitaker not only donated his time, but brought along a Bobcat.

Shawn Johnson didn’t let having  to temporarily be on crutches slow him down as he assisted Saturday and signed up Little Leaguers for the coming season, according to Hass.

Others helped as well.

“We had a man out there helping us work who doesn’t even have a child playing baseball. A woman, who doesn't have children, was out there working with us. This woman works tirelessly and has used her own vacation days to work on the field to prevent rain outs and to help with any and everything we need.

“There was even a man that works two jobs, that had just gotten off work at 2 a.m. and was at the field working at 10 a.m.,” Hass said. “This is just a few of the people that help all the time, and helped Saturday. We cannot express how much we appreciate the donations and the labor we received.”

That served as a counterbalance to the vandalism that caused the damage.

“I don’t know who would want to attack and tear up things for kids,” Logan said.

“It was great to see the kids take a strong stand against it and say ‘You may have torn it up once, but we’re going to fix it.”’

Hass had a similar reaction.

“It’s the most proud I’ve been since we started this thing,” he said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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