Shaler Area Little League in Glenshaw, PA, was a recipient of an equipment grant in 2020 as part of the Pirates Charities and Tull Family Foundation program, which provided baseball and softball gear to 20 leagues in Pennsylvania and one program in West Virginia.
The league entered 2020 with the objective of offering free baseball and softball clinics once a week during the winter months, encouraging all kids in the league to attend regardless of their economic situations. They were in need of a lot of equipment for the program and for the spring season, and also needed to upgrade their catchers gear as most of it was mismatched, ill-fitting, or broken. It was difficult for the younger kids to get used to the position, especially when they couldn’t see because the helmet was too big. The COVID-19 pandemic added further challenges and safety concerns, but the donated equipment helped them prevent equipment sharing and allow the kids to play ball safely.
“This year was particularly challenging trying to play ball in the safest manner while adhering to local and state regulations with regard to COVID. We weren’t even sure that we would have a season, but we were determined to play! Once we were given the okay from the state and the township to get on the fields, we had to scramble to get equipment to the coaches and to make sure the families that had signed up had everything that they needed. Another challenge that we faced was equipment sharing, as COVID exposure was and still is a big concern. We asked anyone in the league who was able to purchase a batting helmet for their child(ren) to do so in order to minimize any sharing of equipment. We realized that many families were dealing with unemployment and uncertainty, and it would be difficult for them to do this. This equipment grant allowed us to help them by issuing batting helmets to individual players and basically check them out like library books.” – Amy Bonati, Ways and Means Commissioner
· Years Involved:2020, 2021