By Katrina Van Duzee/Garden Grove Journal
Donations from local businesses and community members have supplied Bolsa Grande’s Baseball teams with an overwhelming amount of equipment just in time for the start of their season, school administrators have said.
“It is amazing how much good has come from something so bad,” Suzanne Neal, vice president of the baseball’s booster club said. “ It has just been crazy, it is unbelievable the response we got.”
The donations were in light of the March 10 burglary that robbed the junior varsity and varsity teams of their personal bats, gloves and balls that were being kept in an outdoor storage facility, school administrators said. The player’s lockers were cleaned-out almost completely along with the coaching equipment.
“We have received everything from big corporations donating, to $20 in rolled quarters that someone dropped off,” principal Denise Jay said.
The varsity team was forced to cancel its first scrimmage game last week but both teams were able to get enough gear to play their first games of the league season, Neal said.
Currently the school is taking an inventory of all the equipment received in order to sift though what they can use and what they can’t, Jay said. Any equipment that is unusable due to CIF regulations will be donated to other groups in need.
“I did not know there were this many people in our little area that cared about baseball,” Neal said. “I am blown away by people’s generosity.”
The exact amount that has been donated is unknown at this time, but Jay said she is sure that the amount exceeds what was stolen.
Toyota of Garden Grove donated $6,000 dollars to the teams, the Angels baseball team pledged $4,000 and almost every community college near the school sent a care package, Neal said. The school has also been flooded with donations from community members dropping off everything from used baseball mitts stuffed with dollar bills to checks from individuals.
The reaction from the players has been gratefulness along with a desire to give back to the community that has helped save their season, Neal said.
“The pep was back in their step, the boys are really excited and overwhelmed. Now their interest is how do we say thank-you,” Jay said.
Police are pursuing a few leads based on equipment posted for sale online Jay said, but no suspects have been confirmed. Oddly, someone dropped off a bag filled with mitts that may have been unable to sell in the center of the Bolsa Grande baseball field later that week.
The baseball booster club organized a free car wash one Saturday in effort to start giving back to the community, Neal said.
“It is really amazing to see that in tough economic times people still care about kids,” Jay said.
Donations can be mailed directly to the school at 9401 Westminster, Ave., Garden Grove, CA 92844 and addressed to the Bolsa Grande Baseball Booster Club.
For questions contact the school office at (714) 663-6424.