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Pittsylvania County softball teams risk losing fields, need your help

By Justin Ward, jward@wdbj7.com
Published On: May 09 2014 05:30:19 PM EDT
Softball Fields 5914

WDBJ7

PITTSYLVANIA CO., Va. -

Across from a gas station east of Danville in Ringgold are two softball fields.

"They have a special place in my heart. That's what I tell everybody. This is my second home," said Taylor Nunn. She practically grew up on the fields. She's spent 10 years playing here and four coaching girls of all ages from Northern North Carolina and Southern Virginia for Diamond Fever Softball.

Her passion got even stronger when she heard the news that nearly broker her heart: the property the teams play on is being sold.

"We're struggling right now with being able to keep our facility," said LaDonna Varner, a mother of a player and on the organization's board.

"Two years ago we were told it was going to be sold and the people were generous enough to allow us first dibs, for two years we've been paying rent trying to raise the money and we just are falling short," Varner said.

The teams would either have to find a new place to play or buy the fields. Diamond Fever likes a challenge. Varner got an email from Dick's Sporting Goods about its Sports Matter campaign that helps teams struggling financially. This team fits the bill.

"We know that sports help build character and teach those life lessons that kids can take beyond the playing field itself so it's important to keep those programs up and running," said Brent DiGiacomo, the community marketing manager with Dick's Sporting Goods.

Dick's chose to help Diamond Fever under one condition, it has to raise roughly $48,500 by May 23.

The company is matching that figure to pay for the $97,000 property. The team needs $35,350 to meet its goal.

"At first I thought it was a lot of money, and I didn't know how we are going to do it but now that like we've had all these fundraisers and everything I think it's coming together good," said Kendall Varner, a softball player.

"So you think this can actually happen?" WDBJ7's Justin Ward asked.

"Yeah," Varner said.

To donate to the team or help Diamond Fever Softball raise money, click here.