It wasn’t long ago that the concession stand for the American Legion baseball program was broken into and vandalized. Now, just about a year after a rolling door was stolen from the brand new garage that was built to house maintenance equipment, the concession stand for Mountaintop Area Little League was recently vandalized.
League board member George Kreuzer was the first to arrive around 6:30 Sunday morning, August 24. He found the door pried open and entered to find the stand a complete mess –The candy from the shelves was strewn about and the slush puppy and lemonade syrup had been dumped all over the floor. Coffee grounds were dumped into the fryers and powdered sugar was strewn everywhere, creating a difficult task for arriving volunteers.
The timing couldn’t have been worse as board members, coaches and players had to scramble in order to get the stand up and running for the hundreds of exhibitors and attendees expected that morning for the car show. Luckily, they were able to have the stand ready and the event was a huge success. Board President, Pat Rinehimer was grateful to all that helped that morning and throughout the day, and thanked everyone for their help, citing the teamwork and helpfulness that had been so prominent.
“All those who worked to get the stand back in shape shows the power of cooperation, positive attitude and determination,” said Rinehimer “Those who came early to prepare for the car show worked twice as hard to get to the expected starting point. Volunteers extended their time available and complete extra tasks and guests were very understanding and generous.”
There was no cash kept in the building, thankfully, and it was difficult to tell if any food or supplies had been stolen. However, the concession stand is a major fundraising tool in any organization, and it is unnerving that there are people who find it acceptable to destroy or steal from any non-profit organization, especially one that serves children.
One volunteer parent expressed frustration and anger toward the vandals. “It is sad that there are people in our community that have such boring lives and so little regard for the kids of this community and the hard work that has gone into making this complex a success, that destroying things is somehow fun for them. It’s pretty pathetic.”
Little League volunteers and the Wright Township Police department have narrowed down the time the vandalism took place to sometime between 9:30 Saturday evening, August 23, when volunteers finished setting up the grounds for the event, to the morning of the 24 when Kreuzer arrived. Wright Township Police Officer, Aaron Fromm says that incidences of criminal mischief are relatively uncommon in Mountaintop and the vandalism seemed to be an isolated incident. Unfortunately, another incident occurred the following week on one of the five fields. Holes were dug in the field and vulgar words and drawings were put on the dugout walls and on the field with chalk liner. Bags of chalk stored in the dugout were opened and dumped all over the dugouts.
This second incident has added credibility to the suspicion that the culprits are juveniles looking for a “quick thrill”. Wright Township police have increased patrols in that area and will continue to investigate the crime. In the meantime, lights at the complex have been programmed to remain on throughout the night. Mountaintop Area Little League and the Wright Township Police
information on the vandalism to come forward and more safety measures
Neighbors are asked to report any suspicious activity in the area to the Wright Township Police Department
encouraging anybody with being considered by the board.