By Allen Hamrick
The survival of a community depends on the people and businesses within and the political factions that rule it. Without a proper mix of these, the community falls to ruin and will eventually die off.
A business cannot prosper without the people, and the people need the businesses for work and to provide for their families. The people put in place to make decisions for the best interests of the community have a responsibility to the citizenry to make sure that there is opportunity for youth to have a place they can go to compete and grow. When all the business leaders and citizens put their ideas together and work together, the fruits of their labor will be beneficial for all and will continue to improve and enhance the community.
The American dream must remain a pliable alternative to the status quo. In essence, what makes a community thrive is opportunity. Take that away from people, and they will find someplace else to go.
June 23, 2016, was a turning point for Clay County. A vast number of its people lost everything they had but stayed the course, and those who can are rebuilding. The flood took away opportunities for the youth by destroying not just the football team’s locker room but also the Little League field in Dundon.
At this time, the football program has been taken care of and has moved on. The Little League field is a different matter altogether. Todd Samples, along with his wife Kelli and others, have taken on the monumental task of rebuilding the field from scratch. This field, in most peoples’ eyes, would never be rebuilt because of the devastation. That has not stopped the desire of many people who know the importance of that field to some 300-400 players each year. So, the calls and letters went out to businesses and the public for assistance, and thanks to some deep pockets, the project got underway.
Chuck Moore oversaw the project as the construction began. Some businesses stepped up to the plate big. Little League International donated a substantial sum to get the ball rolling. Clay County Bank also came up big, donating the money for the score boards and have always supported the local events. WV Paving donated equipment to clean the place up as well as money. The equipment donated, if rented, would come to the tune of around eleven grand a week. Not bad for an out-of-town business.
BBCarlton has came in and made the place look like a professional field once again. Walker Machinery came in and leveled the fields and created a new T-Ball field. These businesses and the public who have donated know the importance of what this field means to this county and are giving back. There are some 21 teams already forming, from Little League to T-Ball, that will call this field home — that’s around 350–400 kids and their families.
This field will be a field that Little League tournaments can be held without having to go elsewhere to play. The parking lot has been expanded and will accommodate many people. In order for this field to be completed, it will require an additional $25,000 to $30,000. Many donation requests have been sent by the Little League Association, not only the local businesses but to professional baseball teams who could give to a worthy cause, and as of now, many have not been heard from or said they couldn’t.
Again, a business stays in business because of the people, and the people thrive because of business. If you’re a business and want to donate and give back to the people who keep your lights on, it would most definitely be appreciated. If you’re a citizen, do what you can, whether it is money or time. It is a cause worth fighting for. If all goes well and the plan comes together, Super Saturday, when all the future big leaguers come out to play, will be on the 29th of April.
It has been a rough time for this county this past year after the flood, but it is time to rebuild, get back on track and show the world Clay County is not a cemetery but a place that is alive and full of energy because people care.