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Little League benefit to rebuild burnt field house

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By Bryan Marshall

If you come, they can “Build It Back.”
That’s what the Grant County Little League is hoping will happen July 7 when the organization holds a benefit to raise money to rebuild its field house/concession stand.
The structure at Bobby Gibson Memorial Field at Grant County Park in Crittenden was destroyed May 21 due to suspected arson.
Kentucky State Police are still handling the investigation and a $1,000 reward is available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s).
The building was insured for about $40,000, but GCLL also lost approximately $10,000 in equipment and other contents inside the field house, said Jamey Lewis, Grant County Little League commissioner.
Lewis said he hopes the benefit at Grant County Park in Crittenden can raise between $5,000 to $10,000.
“It will lift everyones spirits and we will have fun and don’t have to worry about any scores or schedules,” Lewis said about the event.
Money raised at the benefit, which will begin at 10 a.m. July 7, will be used by GCLL to recover lost revenue, equipment and to raise money to rebuild a new concession stand and press box.
“We would like to build a new concession stand and press box complete with men and women’s restrooms, running water and kitchen so we are able to get appropriate permits to sell full concessions in the future,” said Michael Smith, Grant County Little League Board member and event organizer. “We would also like to make it a little bigger so we can have more storage area. We will be working with (Grant County Parks and Recreation director) Tabatha Clemons and the county on designs. The county will ultimately make the final decision on what is built.”
The benefit will be kicked off at 10 a.m. with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with a kids’ division and a high school age and up division.
A sure-to-be highlight of the day will be a coaches game at 10 a.m. in which all participants will be wearing skirts and dresses.
“This is a must see,” Smith said. “The coaches are being very good sports about it. Everyone is putting pride behind them and doing this for the kids. It is going to be a lot of fun to play in as well as watch.” While the league is not charging to watch the game or attend the benefit, the organization asks that spectators make a donation in the donation box.
Water activities will be available from noon to 2 p.m. for children and coaches and board members will be in a dunking booth throughout the day.
Burgers will be available throughout the day and a pig roast will be served at 3:30 p.m. for $5 per plate with a side. Drinks and extra sides sold separately.
Raffles also will be going on all day, along with a silent auction and split the pot drawings.
A 16 and over corn hole tournament  will start at 1 p.m. with  pre-registration costing $20 per team.
Another corn hole tournament for U16 will follow the conclusion of the first tournament. Pre-registration will cost $6 per team.
Keeping in the Little League theme, at 1 p.m. a 10 and under home run derby and a 12 and under softball home run derby will be held at the field.
There will be prizes for first and second place winners of the events.
Registration forms are available at the concession tent at Bobby Gibson Field in Crittenden on days of games or they can be downloaded at http://gclittleleague.blogspot.com.
Scheduling games for teams has been difficult without the use of lights that were hindered by the fire at Bobby Gibson Field.
Many weekday games have been moved to different times and dates each week.
“It is difficult for everyone involved when there isn’t much consistency on the day or location your team plays,” Smith said.
The league previously has hosted games during the District All Star Tournament at Grant County Park, an opportunity that they will miss out on this year without proper facilities.
The all star teams will now have to play five to seven games in an eight-day period on the road with the closet game about an hour away.
“That makes it difficult on the parents, athletes and our fans who want to attend the games,” Smith said.
“Its been very tough scheduling games at other fields and not really having a home field,” Lewis said. “We really take pride in our field and enjoy making Grant County Park our home.”
Anyone who wants to donate money or help out in anyway, can call 859-428-0781 and leave a message or can mail donations to: Grant County Little League (GCLL) P.O. Box 345, Dry Ridge, KY 41035.
For more information about the “Build It Back” benefit, go to http://gclittleleague.blogspot.com.