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Local businesses step up to help South Mountain Little League

PHOENIX — Thanks to the help of the community, over 250 kids on 18 teams will get to play in the South Mountain Little League this year.

In November, vandals stole equipment from 7th Street and Southern Avenue, including “fencing from the Tee-Ball field, the minor field, the backstops, dugouts, (and) outfield and three or four complete sets of aluminum bleachers,” said Little League board member Michael Martinez Sr.

Martinez has been on a mission ever since to get the fields ready to play for the 2014 season.

“I have not stopped since I walked onto the field; it broke my heart,” Martinez said.

With the help of the local owners of several businesses, including Carl’s Jr., Pizza Patron and Home Depot, the bleachers have been replaced and are ready for use, just in time for opening day on Saturday.

“Our little Tee-Ballers start taking their pictures in the outfield at about 8 a.m.,” said Martinez. “At about 12:30 or 1 p.m., we’re doing our actual opening ceremonies.”