The following post was submitted by West Islip Little League.
On Saturday March 16, more than 50 parent and children volunteers assembled at the West Islip Beach fields to begin the cleanup of the fields and complex, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The fields, located on the shore of the Great South Bay were completely submerged in two feet of water during the storm and the days that followed. “The league has suffered losses that include tractors used for field maintenance, all sports equipment, and the concession stand that contained refrigerators and food preparation equipment. The damage estimates are in excess of $50,000. The complex is still littered with storm debris, and the grass fields are
in much need of repair," said league official Steve Sugemele.
Local groups who offered support including the West Islip Soccer Club, Atlantic Auto Group, West Islip Wines and liquors, Dick Sporting Goods, Modell’s, District 34 Little League and the Little Leagues of Connecticut, who have donated goods and held fundraisers.
On Saturday, the clean up began, and on hand was Sports New York, from the
New York Mets TV station who came down to film a segment of their Kids Club
Show that will begin airing on May 5. Sports New York will be awarding the league with a $5,000 grant to get the complex back in shape for the Spring 2013 season.
Now that the damage has been removed, cleaning and repairs can begin. The
league has reached out to Town of Islip officials, who are responsible for the
property, in hopes of help from the town parks department. Next Saturday more volunteers are headed down to the Beach fields to continue the renovation process in time for opening day, which will be held on April 20. The league is accepting donations of sporting equipment, kitchen equipment, as well as manpower to get the project completed.