MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - When Ashley Aaron heard that someone had vandalized and stolen thousands of dollars worth of equipment from the Southern League Dixie Youth Baseball fields, he went to survey the damage himself.
“After the segment aired, I went to the field and saw where the vandals broke in and saw remnants of trophies that were scattered everywhere,” said Aaron. “I knew they had been hit and wanted to do something about it.”
Aaron is a volunteer coach with the AUM League, which also falls under the Dixie Youth Baseball umbrella, and said he has been working with other sister leagues, like Southeastern and Montgomery American, to raise support for the Southern League.
“Sports has no barrier,” said Aaron. “Seeing these young kids, you bring them and you teach them. Some of the best lessons you learn in life come from a coach or volunteers who give their time and effort to actually build up this young men and women. You don’t need to take that away.”
Aaron combined the efforts of his league and other leagues to work with Milo’s Hamburgers for an equipment drive to support the Southern League. The Alabama-based restaurant said it was happy to be a part of the effort.
“Sports can encourage leadership and encourage kids academically, so we’re happy to give back to these children,” said Milo’s Hamburgers Local Store Marketing Manager Julianna Hallman.
Stanley Thomas, who sits on board for the Southern League and serves as a coach, said he was speechless when he realized what the neighboring leagues were doing.
“For people to come together, who don’t know anything about Southern League, to step up and help our young men and women, really speaks to how people will step out to help you if they don’t even know you,” Thomas said.
You can bring any new or gently used baseball or softball equipment to the Milo’s in Eastchase, 8747 Eastchase Pkwy, until Wednesday Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. Anyone who donates during breakfast hours will receive a free side of cheese grits with their purchase. Those who donate during lunch or dinner will receive a free pie with purchase.
A spokesperson from the Montgomery Police Department said there are “no updates” in the investigation of the initial vandalism at this time.