Saturday, November 26, 2022

Hardwick Asked to Have a Big Heart for the Little League

Sycamore Park Ball Field B- lovingly cared for field at Sycamore park

Dave Prezioso , President of the North Warren Little League made an impassioned request of the Hardwick Township committee at its November 2nd meeting. As many can understand, the act of raising children can be expensive, and as such it is the goal of the North Warren Little League to keep expenses for parents to a minimum.

The North Warren Little League prides itself on having top notch and updated gear and high-quality facilities for its participants. The safety of everyone is of upmost priority.

As part of this, the Little League ensures that they are up to date with equipment standards, for instance, all helmets must be stamped and approved by USA baseball, otherwise they cannot use them. This is required to be covered by the League’s insurers. When they get worn through and broke down, they also need to be replaced. Seventy of the 90 helmets needed to be replaced last year.

Four sets of catcher gear needed to be purchased this year at a hefty price tag of approximately $4,000. This year, $26,000 was invested in field renovation and equipment to maintain the fields once work was completed.

The League is at a point where they are almost out of money when it is near the time to start ordering gear and equipment for next season. Baseballs, catchers gear and “everything that makes for a better and safer environment”, as stated by Prezioso, are all part of yearly expenses to ensure this.

The Little League would love to offset costs incurred as they are already out of money to purchase new equipment and gear, said the Little League President. Hardwick is amongst the four participating towns in the North Warren Little League program, which also includes Blairstown, Knowlton and Frelinghuysen.

Mayor Chris Jacksic asked for an anticipated budget. Approximate annual costs of purchasing gear is between $7,000- $10,000. Prezioso is suggesting $10,000 is the figure that he hopes to receive from the four towns and perhaps each town could contribute $2,500 each.

The North Warren Little League was comprised of 17 teams in the latest season. 190 kids participated in the League. The bulk of participants are on the younger spectrum. The League is very heavy on the bottom with a larger majority between the ages of six to eight years of age.

Expected growth is very likely given these dynamics and with that the growing needs of the League. The League is primarily self-sufficient, but they are looking to see if the towns could extend some additional funds to help offset the costs of next season, so that the families are not over extended in increased fees.

Prezioso stated, “We are just trying to see if there is any additional help that we can seek amongst the other towns that we don’t see too often.”

There are approximately 31-32 Hardwick youths involved in North Warren Little League. Deputy Mayor John Lovell, complimented Prezioso on his service to the kids and explained that certain input would need to be evaluated to see what financial help would be appropriate in terms of better servicing Hardwick residents. 

There will be a budgeting meeting for Hardwick in two months and Lovell said that this would be a concern and consideration he would personally make sure was brought up to be further discussed.

Lovell stated, “It is not uncommon for Towns to make contributions”. In the coming months it will be interesting to see who becomes the heroes of the Little League and its youth. 

But what is evident is that the Little League and its youth have a great advocate for them in League President Dave Presioso. 

To learn more about North Warren Little League you can visit https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/nwarrenllnj
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