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Snoqualmie Valley Record • June 29, 2011 • 5

Chaplin’s North Bend Chevrolet

Chevy Y uth Baseball A supplement to the Snoqualmie Valley Record

Photos by Seth Truscott /Carol Ladwig/Courtesy SVLL

Featured in this issue:

Page 6

Page 15

Donation, drive a way for local dealership to help many young players

Snoqualmie Valley, Falls Little League volunteers make sure everyone plays

Tickets to play:

Ball for all:

Page 15 Step up to the plate: Poker tourney helps keep future Wildcat baseball team strong

Page 15

Bond for life: Youth ball helps state champion Mount Si team build winning connection, memories


6 • June 29, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record

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Love for the league Chevy Youth Baseball fundraiser helps local youth programs succeed Watching an afternoon game in the Snoqualmie Valley Little League or Falls Little League, listening to the crack of the bat, the cheer of the players, the calls of the umpire, you’d think it all was effortless. But behind the scenes, a lot of hard work, volunteer effort and scrapping for donations is required to keep the Valley tradition of youth baseball alive and thriving. This year, for the second season in a row, Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet helped the two local leagues in fundraising efforts that keep the diamonds shining.

Continuing connection Chevrolet is recognized on the national level as the “Official Vehicle of Major League Baseball.” The automaker has expanded the support of Major League Baseball down to young players in communities across the country through Chevy Youth Baseball, a grassroots, community outreach program. The program is geared toward bringing the brand together with America’s favorite pastime. “Baseball is the anchor to every community,” said Leesa McKay, Chaplins’ in-house marketing administrator and outside saleswoman. “No matter how small a town is, it has Little League. We see all those kids out there playing, but I don’t think we all realize actually what it takes to get those kids to play— I know I didn’t.” For Chevy Youth Baseball, the carmaker put up two cars, a Chevy Equinox and a Cruise, while also offering service deals and other prizes for a drawing. Local teams got 4,000 tickets to sell for a recommended $5 donation. Leagues keep 100

percent of proceeds raised. Chevrolet provides a $500 donation to a local team. In a bonus donation, Chaplins stepped it up by kicking in an extra $500 to make sure both leagues and the greater Valley were covered. “It’s not just North Bend and Snoqualmie,” said McKay. “Being one of the major businesses, we need to support the Valley. This is one way of supporting a large amount of kids.” Chaplins staff marked this year’s promotion by sponsoring a clinic with local baseball instructor and youth coach Bucky Jacobsen, and plan a pizza party later in the season courtesy of Frankie’s Pizza. They also hand out ball bags and buckets to the teams. It’s a lot of work organizing the clinics and benefit, but KcKay said that children are helped and parents are grateful. “This is when they’re little and starting out,” she said. “They need help, too.

A big help Fundraising successes like the Chevy Youth Baseball program are a good start to meet those long-term needs such as player scholarships, equipment, cage rentals and field work. In the Snoqualmie Valley league, overall fundraising is up from 2010, but still below past years’ levels. The group hopes to raise as much as $7,000 through ticket sales in order to ensure that every child who wants to play ball can do so. “It’s been a great fundraiser for us,” said Chris Bennett, Snoqualmie Valley Little League President. The ticket sales make up for fewer donations and sponsorships in a slow economy. Support from groups like Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet also help Snoqualmie Valley Little League take care of the city fields it uses. For example, the league applied special baked

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Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet Manager Mike Lawrence shakes hands with Falls Little League coach Brendon van Campen during a clinic with Bucky Jacobsen, at rear, left, for the Chevy Youth Baseball program. clay to absorb water from the infield—a crucial need in this spring’s rain-out season, when every game counted. Falls Little League will use the proceeds for field improvements and to backfill its capital fund, replacing much-needed equipment that was stolen when the Alderra Field storage shed was burglarized. Last February, someone stole the league’s mower, public address system and pitching machine. Fundraisers help get the league back to square one. Chaplins’ efforts, in combination with other sponsors including Claffey’s Painting, helped restore the league following the disastrous break-in. “My hat’s off to them,” said Falls Little League President Dave Luchtel. “They’re extremely supportive of Little League... We get a lot of great community support.” As part of the fundraiser, youth teams took part in a free skills clinic with former pro player Bucky Jacobsen. “It’s an unbelievable thing Chevy’s doing,” said Jacobsen, a former Mariners player who opened Bucky’s Baseball Academy at North Bend in 2009. “That goes a long way with Little Leagues like this.” Chaplins’ fundraiser helped pay for batting

cage sessions for league players this spring. “If you can’t get them inside, you’re going to be behind everybody else,” Jacobsen said. In May, Jacobsen worked on hitting fundamentals with 10-year-old players. “I’ve always liked working with kids,” he said. Young people gravitate to his personality, and he in turn enjoys getting them to understand the right and wrong ways. “Seeing kids pick it up, seeing the lightbulb go off, it’s pretty rewarding,” he said. As a coach, Jacobsen loves seeing players take and run with his lessons. “You can see them grow by leaps and bounds.” Jacobsen works to instill one of the most important lessons in youth baseball: how to move past failure. “You’re not always going to win,” he said. “Most of the time you’re going to get out. It’s trying to teach somebody that’s 10 or 11 that it’s OK, as long as you worked hard and prepared yourself. You get to wait a couple of innings and try again. Maybe the next inning, you’ll get an opportunity defensively to help your team win.” SEE FUNDRAISER, 15

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Champion connection

Snoqualmie Valley Record • June 29, 2011 • 15

Baseball Poker Tournament helps Wildcat champions

Youth ball helped create powerful bond for state winners Teammates on the Mount Si High School varsity baseball team will always remember the moment they won the state championship, listening to the cheers as they raised a shining trophy high. Forever linked by that experience, the team went so far thanks to fundamentals, hard work—and a particularly close bond that dates back to their youth baseball days. For the 2011 varsity, “team chemistry was second to none,” Coach Elliott Cribby said. “That has to be attributed to Little League.” Skills are always important, but comradery was also a big part of state success. Players like Dustin Breshears and Tim Proudfoot, or brothers like Robb and Trevor Lane, brought connections that dated back to their earliest days in the game. Little League is part of the Valley’s tight-knit baseball community, in which close friendships form. Those connections help players react as a group. Cribby had a chance to meet players in the Falls Little League following the regular season. His visit got them stoked about growing

Mount Si High School baseball boosters plan a July poker tournament to raise funds for the Wildcats’ state-winning program. The Baseball Champions Poker Tournament is 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Mount Si Golf Course. The evening includes an auction, prizes, games, food and a no-host bar. Buy-in is $100. The tournament is geared to draw Mount Si alumni to help celebrate the 2011 Mount Si baseball state championship win. Proceeds help pay for the team’s state trip this spring, as well as uniforms and equipment, facility restorations and player scholarships. “All the money goes straight to student athletes,” Mount Si head coach Elliott Cribby said. To learn more, visit http://mtsihsbaseball. com/.

Allstate Allstate SEATTLE, WA SEATTLE, WA In honor of the Mount Si High School state baseball championship, the North Bend City Council hosted a short celebration after Mayor Ken Hearing and Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson declared Wednesday, June 8, Mount Si High School AHCO016800000_SPRAGU AHCO016800000_SPRAGUE Baseball Day. Pictured from left are: kneeling, Justin Blenheim, Justin Henak, Ryan Atkinson, Batboy Ryan Jarchow, Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Griffin McLain, and Dustin Breshears; and standing, councilmembers Ross Loudenback and Dee Williamson, head coach Elliott Cribby, Max Brown, Daniel Besmer, Mayor Ken Hearing, Tim Proudfoot, Mayor Matt Larson, Reece Karalus, Nate Sinner, Assistant Coach Craig Parthemer, Assistant Coach Craig Weber, and councilmembers Chris Garcia, Jonathan Rosen, and David Cook. Allstate

as players and one day representing SEATTLE,said. WA“What we’ve done in nine months, it’s like I’ve known these Mount Si. AHCO016800000_SPRAGUE kids my whole life.” “Obviously, winning creates a This summer, Cribby is coaching great buzz,” Cribby said. Now, his a 16-year-old team that includes team can go out in the community three future varsity hopefuls: and celebrate with young players. Swift, Carson Breshears “They really respect you,” Cribby Elliott Cribby, Connor and Griffin McLain. said. “It’s great to see the fire in their Mount Si baseball head coach He hopes to put together a sumeyes.” mer camp for younger players, and Little Leaguers wanted to know Allstate is expecting a huge turnout next what it was like to take the chamSEATTLE, WA at their age.” pionship. The head coach is staying in spring. AHCO016800000_SPRAGUE “Winning a state champion“I tell them it was an amazing touch with players through social ship creates a buzz,” Cribby said. feeling,” Cribby said. “It was like media this summer. “They’ve meant a lot to me,” he “Everybody wants to play.” them winning the championship

Little League players “really respect you... It’s great to see the fire in their eyes.”

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Thanks to a lot of hard work by volunteers, rain couldn’t keep the pitches and hits away forever at local ball parks this spring. Passing on the traditions and skills of the game of baseball from one generation to the next remains the mission of the Snoqualmie Valley Little League and Falls Little League, where more than a hundred unpaid helpers keep things moving. Everyone from coaches to the umpires put in their effort without a paycheck. “Our focus is 100 percent on how we service the kids

of our community,” said Falls Little League President Dave Luchtel. “Our volunteers are here to support the kids.” He sees the sport as a basic community service. Little League stands out with its inclusiveness. “You sign up, you get on a team,” Luchtel said. “Our longstanding policy is that every kid plays, no matter what,” said SVLL President Chris Bennett. “We tend to give away a lot of free registrations.” This year, the group gave more than $4,000 in scholarships. Parents of children who receive help are asked to donate time instead of money. The two leagues are always looking for volunteers—“the

FUNDRAISER FROM 6 Chevrolet will hold the Youth Baseball prize drawing on August 5. Prize tickets are needed back at Chaplins by July 6. Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet thanks everyone involved in helping with this fundraiser: Bucky’s Baseball Academy’s Bucky Jacobsen, Frankie’s Pizza, Talking Rain, Snoqualmie Valley Little League President Chris Bennett, Falls Little League President David Luchtel, all the coaches, parents and more than 800 local youth who are keeping the dream of local baseball alive. “Finding out the need and challenges our local leagues had this year, and having kids play,

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more the merrier,” Bennett said. People don’t have to know anything about coaching to help. Community-minded folks can always step up into support positions. Donations are also always needed. Locals can help contribute to scholarships for individual children to play. Bennett said many folks might be surprised by the costs that go into Little League. “It’s a lot more than just a uniform,” he said. Business sponsorships help with many needs. It’s a small donation that goes a long way. • To learn about Falls Little League, visit www.fallsll.org. •LearnabouttheSnoqualmie Valley Little League at http:// www.svll.net/home.php.

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this is pretty sweet that we got the chance to help,” McKay said. She reminds Valley residents that the fundraiser is a benefit only for Little Leagues — Chaplins receives none of the funds. “We provide the materials, and left it up to the kids to do the rest,” McKay said. “To skip a coffee at your local stand, or the lunch special one day, may perhaps feel like a great sacrifice. But you will be helping many kids who sleep with their mitts and dream of getting up Saturday morning to go and play some ball.” • Chaplins North Bend Chevrolet is located at 106 Main Ave. N.; call the dealership at (425) 888-8239. Learn more about Chevrolet Youth Baseball at www.chevroletbaseball.com.

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16 • June 29, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record

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