UNION COUNTY — They won the opportunity to compete in the State Tournament that begins this weekend but the Union County 12u Ponytails Division Dixie Girls Softball Team needs to raise $1,100 to pay for food and lodging while competing.
The Union County 12u Ponytails Division Dixie Girls Softball Team won the right to play in the 12u Ponytails All Star Tournament by defeating Byrnes for the District 5 title.
As the winners of the District 5 title in their division, the team won a slot in the State Tournament which will begin this Friday (July 6) and be held in Bluffton through Wednesday, July 11.
Winning the right to compete in the State Tournament means the team will have to travel to Bluffton and stay there for the duration of their participation in the tournament, participation that will hopefully end July 11 with the team bring bringing home the State Championship.
While in Bluffton, the members of the team will have to have food and lodging, and since the Ponytails won the right to compete in the State Tournament, the players and their families, the coaches and their families, and other supporters of the team have been working to raise the funds to pay for that food and lodging.
Coach Tommy Benfield said today (Monday) that the team needs to raise $5,000 to pay for each member’s meals and lodging. He said that this past weekend the team and its supporters held several fundraisers that together brought the Ponytails more than 60 percent of the way to their goal.
“We had a bake sale and a car wash,” Benfield said. “The families of each player donated an item to a yard sale.”
In addition to the bake sale and the yard sale, Benfield said the team sold “Boston Butts” cooked up by supporters of the team including a local restaurateur.
“Tubo Owens and Jay Allen at Midway BBQ cooked 64 Boston Butts that we sold,” Benfield said.
Benfield said this past weekend’s fundraisers raised a total of $3,543.
Fundraising efforts continued Monday with the team selling plates of BBQ, beans, and slaw at the Timken Sports Complex. Benfield said Monday’s fundraiser raised $350, bringing the total amount raised to $3,893.
As impressive as that figure is, it still leaves the team $1,107 short of the total needed with just three days to go before the team has to leave for Bluffton.
Benfield said the team and its supporters are reaching out to businesses and others in the community to help it raise the balance of the needed funds. He said the opportunity to play at the State Tournament and possibly win the State Championship also opens up the opportunity for the team, should it win the championship, to win a slot in the Dixie Youth World Tournament that will be played later this month in Louisiana and possibly bring the World Championship home to Union County as well.
Anyone who would like to make a donation in support of the Union County 12u Ponytails Division Dixie Girls Softball Team going to the State Tournament should call Union County Dixie Girls Softball President Tim Garner at 864-441-4272 and/or Secretary Kristi Garner at 864-441-3552.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.