Simplified: On Thursday morning, the Sioux Falls Little League team put out a call on Facebook for donations to offset families' costs for being on the road for the Little League World Series. By dinnertime, they'd raised more than $10,000.
Why it matters
- The Sioux Falls team has been on the road for more than three weeks between the regional Little League tournament in Indiana and the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
- For the parents and siblings cheering them on, the costs of traveling are starting to add up to an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 per family.
- But, fans both in Sioux Falls and nationwide are pitching in to help as the team goes into Championship Weekend.
"It's not like one or two people with huge donations," said Matt Kuenzi, whose son Noah Kuenzi plays on the Sioux Falls team. "It's a lot of $5, 'hope this helps,' and $20, 'keep up the good work.'"
What's the reaction from parents?
Kuenzi hasn't been home since Aug. 4. He said it's overwhelming to see the outpouring of support from fans.
"We were speechless," he said. "And that's hard to do with this group of parents."
Parent Joel Sonnichsen said before the Facebook posts, businesses had stepped up to help support the team and cover some travel costs, but the better the players do, the longer parents are away from jobs, family and home.
"That's when the bills start adding up," Sonnichsen said. "You get to the point where parents are running out of PTO."
What happens next?
The Sioux Falls team plays Hamilton, Ohio, in the semifinals today.
Fun fact: The mayors of each town have a bet on the game's outcome – with guest appearances by some local Sioux Falls businesses.
How can I help?
You can donate to the team in the following ways:
- Using Venmo at @Buffalos-SiouxFalls
- Using PayPal at @jeffriley14
- Using Cash App at $jeffriley14.
The team is looking to raise another $15,000 to help offset costs.
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