UNION — The Union County 12u Ponytails Division Dixie Girls Softball Team moved a big step closer to their fundraising goal of $15,000 with a $1,500 donation from the City of Union.
During its July meeting this past Tuesday, Union City Council voted unanimously to donate $1,500 to the Ponytails who won the South Carolina State Championship Tournament on July 11. As state champions, the Ponytails are now Team South Carolina and will represent the state in the Dixie Softball World Series which will be played in Alexandria, Louisiana from Friday, July 27-Thursday, Aug. 2.
Council’s action was in response to a letter from Union County Dixie Girls Softball League Secretary Kristi Garner requesting the city’s help in offsetting the $15,000 in travel, food, and lodging costs the Ponytails will incur by attending the World Series. In her letter, Garner tells the story of how the Ponytails achieved the title of state champions and the opportunity to compete for the title of world champions.
We have 12 players on the team and 3 coaches. One of the coaches on the team has no children involved and is volunteering her time and losing paid time at work with going with these girls for this tournament.
We started this journey with 80 girls in our ponytails league in our regular season. From the season 6 coaches picked who they thought the best 12 girls were to represent Union County for our District Allstar tournament. We played two other teams going undefeated for the District 5 title. We beat out Boiling Springs and Byrnes.
On July 6 we made a trip to Bluffton, SC to represent Union County and District 5 in the SC State Tournament. This cost our group around $6,000. We went undefeated in all five games. The girls scored a total of 69 runs and only allowed 10 runs the entire tournament. They also only played 4 innings in each game because of the number of runs they had.
Winning the State Tournament has earned them the spot in the Dixie Softball World Series. This is being held in Alexandria, Louisiana starting July 27-August 2. The cost of this trip will be around $15,000 on the families.
We would appreciate any help so that these girls can represent Union County, District 5, and now South Carolina in the World Series. Thank you so much for your help. This will be an experience that these young ladies will never forget and they will appreciate how their community stood behind them to make it possible.
Just hours before council voted to make the donation, Garner, in an interview with The Union Times, stated that the Ponytails had raised approximately $7,500 or half of their goal of $15,000. The city’s donation to the Ponytails brought the team’s fundraising effort to $9,000 or 60 percent of their goal.
The Ponytails got even closer to their goal Tuesday when the Union Civitan Club voted to donate $300 to the team to help them pay for their trip to Louisiana. The donation from the Civitans means the Ponytails now have $9,300 or 62 percent of their fundraising goal.
Garner said the team is overwhelmed by the generous support it is receiving from the community, and she thanked all those who have donated including the City of Union and the Union Civitan Club. She said the donations have not only included mony, but also items for the Chinese Auction the team and its supporters will be holding today (Saturday) as part of its “A Day of Champions” fundraising event.
A Day Of Champions
To help raise the remaining $5,700, the Ponytails and their supporters are holding a “Day of Champions” at the Union County Recreation Department today (Saturday) from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The Day of Champions will include:
• A live auction with John Young starting at noon at the Recreation Department.
• A Homerun Derby at Buffalo Ballfield from 9-11 a.m.
• Big BBQ Sandwich plates from Big Daddy’s BBQ for sale at the Recreation Department.
• A Chinese Auction at the Recreation Department from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. featuring many items.
• A raffle for a 3 night/4 day stay in VBRO# 923703 in Ocean Creek Resort. These tickets are $10 each.
Persons who want to make a donation are asked to contact Kacie Gregory at 864-466-5735 or Marsha Gossett at 864-426-3456.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.