SPRING HILL — After vandals struck the West Hernando Little League complex last week, Friday’s event meant that much more.
People from Lowe’s on Commercial Way arrived at the league’s Freedom Field off Deltona Boulevard in Spring Hill, ready to donate materials and time to renovate the facility.
“The gift Lowe’s is giving us is tremendous,” league President Gina Mulyck said. “I’ve been with the league for almost 11 years now. We have not had a contribution like this as far as I can remember. We’re very grateful for that.”
As part of the Lowe’s Heroes Project, West Hernando Little League was chosen as a nonprofit group in need of help.
Free of charge, Lowe’s is redoing the field’s dugouts, painting the entire complex with paint donated by Valspar, replacing doors, installing an air conditioner in the score tower and just “basically giving it a nice facelift,” said Lowe’s returns manager, Jason Underwood, who is serving as the store’s leader for the project.
Lowe’s employees showed up Friday morning, combining efforts with volunteers from the league. West Hernando Little League survives solely on the support of volunteers, Mulyck said, not receiving any money from the county.
“We do fairly well considering everything is done by the hands of volunteers,” Mulyck said.
But at some point early last week, vandals struck Freedom Field, inflicting mostly cosmetic damage.
Five doors were damaged, a utility locker latch was torn off and an empty cash register was stolen as well as two DVD players in the clubhouse and a few cases of drinks.
The vandals tried unsuccessfully to enter an equipment room containing items collectively worth several thousand dollars, which if taken or damaged would have delivered a devastating blow to the league, Mulyck said.
In the wake of that situation, Lowe’s assistance reverberates that much more. In addition to Valspar, Scotts will donate materials, Mulyck said.
Also, she said, the league is in line to receive state funding to renovate its concession stand.
“I think it’s really going to help the morale. It’s kind of like a rejuvenation for the league,” Mulyck said. “We’re very grateful to Lowe’s and their people, and Scotts and Valspar, and all the volunteers. I’m really looking forward to the results.”
“We’re all really, really excited to go there and help these kids, so we can make their field better and they can take pride in how their field looks,” Underwood said. “We want to make it better and nicer so that they know that people care.”