Bad sports burn team but kids battle back
Little Leaguers from Kailua have more setbacks than Bad News Bears
STORY SUMMARY »
They are called the Royals, but the Little Leaguers from Kailua have had more setbacks than the Bad News Bears.
First came an 0-18 season. Then the lawn mower that their coach used to trim the grass at their Keolu Hills field broke.
Unbowed, the team sold snacks at games to raise money for a new lawn mower. Money was coming in, thanks in part to a popcorn maker in the concession booth, powered by a portable generator.
Then someone stole the generator.
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When a thief recently stole a generator from a Kailua Little League team, it caused more than a loss of power — it almost destroyed a dream.
Here's the pitch
Donations for the Kailua Little League Lawnmower Fund and Generator Fund can be:
» Made to the account for Kailua Little League at American Savings Bank branches.
» Mailed directly to Kailua Little League at P.O. Box 846, Kailua, HI 96734.
» Given in person at the concession stand of the Little League Major Tournament at Keolu Field in Enchanted Lake from Friday through July 10.
Members of the Kailua Royals were recovering from an 0-18 season and trying to raise money for a lawn mower to help maintain their Keolu Hills Neighborhood Park field.
The team had been running a snack stand at Little League games to raise about $2,100 of $3,000 needed to buy a lawn mower for their coach, whose own machine had broken earlier in the season. The generator, a top-quality Honda 2000 model on loan from a player's parent, had been used to power a sound system as well as a popcorn maker in the snack stand.
The theft, reported Friday, dealt their fundraising efforts another setback, said Lilith Samson, mother of team member Kai Samson.
Royals team member Laakea Moniz, 12, was shocked. "I was actually awestruck that people would go out there and steal stuff from kids. ... My parents always told me that people on this island should have aloha spirit.
"I just hope they feel guilty that they stole from children," he added.
Now, with $1,200 more needed to replace the generator, the fundraising drive is in extra innings. "We want everyone in the community to come out and support the kids, just drive by, you know, and pick up a juice or something from the concession stand," Lilith Samson said.
Team members will be there for a league tournament this weekend and next week, through July 10, to run the stand and continue raising money, Samson said.
Coach Adam Lui puts most of his free time into caring for the Keolu baseball field and needs the ride-on mower to keep the field well maintained.
"You try to make it the kids' field of dreams. ... If you can keep the grass short, the chance of injuries to the kids is less," he said. "If someone wants to return the generator, we would greatly appreciate it — no questions asked."
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
A lawn mower used by the Kailua Little League to mow the Keolu Hills Neighborhood Park baseball field broke down. Originally, this article incorrectly said the mower was stolen.