Arvin Little League could possibly play their last season this coming fall after a weekend fire destroyed the snack stand. Money from the snack stand pays for equipment and uniforms for the children.
Parents and players hope the community will donate money to help them rebuild. 400 kids make up the league. It is safe alternative for children who may otherwise be roaming the streets.
"There was flames coming from the top. They were about 20 feet in the air," said Steve Lopez, President, Arvin Little League.
A melted, mangled mess is all that is left of the metal snack bar.
"It means everything in Arvin because we're a small community and we don't have the luxury of places like youth centers so this is their total recreation. They don't take away from us. They take away from the kids," explained Lopez.
"That's our big money maker for the league. My first thought was the kids," he continued.
Brandon Seablom has been playing with the league for eight years. "It gets me out of my house and not playing video games like most kids do," said Brandon Seablom.
Playing baseball keeps Seablom off the streets and out of trouble. 'If I do good, then I could get a scholarship and go to a good college and get a good job," he continued.
The chance to be part of a team gives kids like Angel Borreli, a sense of belonging. "Out here you get to run around, get hit with the ball, catch pop flies and dive for the ball," explained Angel Borreli.
These kids live and breathe baseball. "You go to school. Everyone talks about it. Why would someone do this to us?" he continued.
Last year, the children helped raise money to buy a new scoreboard and lights. The new equipment will only be used for one more season, unless they come up with the money for a new snack stand to fund spring baseball and beyond.
It will cost $60,000 to 80,000 to replace the building and everything inside of it.
If you would like to help:
Mail checks to : Arvin Little League, P.O Box 375, Arvin, CA 93203
Donate at Bank of America: Account #164104319038
Contact: Steve Lopez at (661) 340-0595
The Kern County Fire Department says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. If you have any information, call 1-877- FIRE- TIP.