When 16 year old Legion baseball player, Luke Modrovsky arrived at Mountain Post 781 to prep the field for that evening’s game, the last thing he expected to find was the destruction of the league concession stand left behind by thieves. Immediately, he contacted League Commissioner, Jeff Tokach and Stand Coordinator, Terry Tokach about what he had found.
“I thought Mrs. Tokach was in there and I was going to go over and say hello.” recounted Luke. “My first thought was that someone had left the window open overnight, but then I saw it had been knocked out and that the cabinet where the money was kept had its doors ripped open. So, I ran over to Legion bar and told the bartender, who then called the Rice Township police.”
Rice Township Police had already been there and gone when Terry Tokach arrived at the scene and the sight was obviously disturbing. The incident took place between the evening of June 20 and morning of June 21. The thieves had not only stolen roughly $100 in cash, but also frozen food, bottled water and Gatorade, as well as $400 in merchandise. To add insult to injury, the freezer and cooler doors were left open and everything had defrosted to ruin. Thankfully the excess cash had been removed after the previous game, but the stand had recently been restocked.
“When you see something like that it’s like a punch in the stomach,” said Tokach “We were really starting to see a return on our efforts. People were donating home-made nightly specials, and all of our efforts and reinvestments were paying off for the program. It is more of a heartbreaking thing than anything else; to have somebody tear it apart like that was just hurtful.”
Terry cleaned up as best she could and, as the news spread to the surrounding community, some people started coming over to help clean and make repairs in order to make it operational for that evening. By the next day’s game, people were arriving with cases of Gatorade, water and hot dogs, including the opposing team, Plains, who had seen their concession stand set on fire not long ago by vandals.
“People have been overwhelmingly supportive and it’s been very heartwarming,” relates Tokach.
A PA State Police Officer, who has a son in the program, has also been helping with the investigation, which is currently ongoing.
Facilities such as the one that is at Legion Post 781 are not built to be Fort Knox, as most people have a special aversion to stealing from kids and nonprofit youth organizations. However, security now becomes a bigger concern as these places are no longer immune.
“It’ll be fine, but now we have to think about more security and never leaving money in the stand,” explains Tokach. “Who would really do that? I just never really worried about it before.”
“I’m just stunned and disappointed that somebody would want to do this,” says Modrovsky. “I just hope that whoever is responsible comes forward and we can close this out and move on.”
If you would like to help get the stand back up to speed, donations can be made to Mountain Legion Baseball, 1515 Henry Drive, Mountaintop, PA