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Finding a way to give back

Carter Eckl
ceckl@recordcourier.com
A Carson Valley Little Leaguer fields a ground ball during an All-Star game. CVLL was able to refund all registration fees thanks to a $16,000 donation from Franklin Armory.
Ron Harpin

Though Carson Valley Little League won’t be able to celebrate its 50th anniversary this season, that doesn’t mean the sense of community around baseball was lost in the area.

After the coronavirus forced the season to be canceled just as it was gearing up, CVLL president Melanie Doyal said that the league was initially only going to be able to issue partial refunds for the season.

“We just decided it was in the best interest of the league to cancel the season. It wasn’t easy. There’s so much work that goes into starting a season. It was a lot to be undone,” said Doyal.

That was until a local business stepped in with a generous donation, allowing all 415 Little League players to get their registration money back.

Jay Jacobson, president of Franklin Armory, reached out to Carson Valley Little League when he heard that the league was only going to be able to offer partial refunds and offered to make a donation to cover the difference.

Jacobson readily admits he’s never been much of a baseball player, but his son has taken a large interest in the sport and he felt it was the best way to help give back to a community that he and his family joined in 2013 when they moved to the area.

“We thought it might be a good way to give back to the community and say thank you,” Jacobson said. “I’ve seen other dads take the time to help my son with the skill development. Just to do that willingly, everyone gives in their own way and this was our way to give in.”

In total, Franklin Armory’s donation was over $16,000 and allowed everyone to receive a full refund for their canceled season.

“We’ve been blessed by being able to stay open and continue working as an essential business,” said Jacobson. “A lot of folks aren’t quite as lucky. … Great community, great athletics and that was our opportunity to support at a time when I think they weren’t expecting it.”

“It was huge,” said Doyal. “They are fantastic people and a great asset to our community and definitely to our league.”

Doyal also added that Carson Valley Little League is hoping to broaden its sponsorship opportunities for next season, noting that several would-be sponsors were forced to be put on a wait list due to only a select number of ways to sponsor teams or hang banners.

“Maybe close to 50 sponsors that sponsor the league every year,” said Doyal. “We’re hoping next year we can broaden those opportunities for the people that want to give.”

Carson Valley Little League had big plans for the 50th anniversary, according to Doyal, but those plans have been pushed to next year when the league anticipates getting to play its 50th season.

“It was heart-wrenching (to cancel the season),” Doyal added. “We had big plans for an opening day ceremony.”

Those plans will have to wait a year, but they haven’t been canceled and thanks to a giving community, Doyal and company are hoping that the 50th anniversary next season will be one that is hard to forget.