Suffern Little League, Youth Football fields, facilities decimated by Ida

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Thursday, September 9, 2021
Suffern youth baseball, football fields, facilities decimated by Ida
Both Suffern Little League and Suffern Youth Football had their fields flooded and facilities damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

SUFFERN, Rockland County (WABC) -- The wrath of Hurricane Ida's remnants left historic flooding across the Tri-State Area, and even kids and sports were not spared.

In Suffern, a pair of GoFundMe pages have been set up for the Little League and Youth Football teams after the storm destroyed their fields and damaged the facilities.

The fields were flooded and sports equipment damaged, and inside the field house and snack stand, refrigerators are all on their sides and the stove is gone.

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"Everything was completely lost," Little League President Jim Hart said. "Each freezer was tipped over in the flood. They floated and then fell over."

Water rose past the counter tops, and there's rotting food as well.

"It was about 26,000 pounds of garbage that we threw away," Hart said. "In the football equipment room was all of our equipment, every piece that we owned, which was destroyed."

About 600 kids are a part of the Little League, and their season runs from August through November, with their first game scheduled for Sunday.

Officials say it's likely they're going to be playing without uniforms.

"We have equipment to play this year," Hart said. "But if anybody needs anything replaced or we have a new player to be outfitted, we don't have anything to outfit that player."

They describe it as a place where parents and children come together and build community, and while it is funded through registration fees, the Little League is now looking for fundraising money to clean up and restore equipment.

The league's insurance policy does not cover flood damage, and the teams estimate the cost will be over $30,000.

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"We are completely non-profit, so we rely on the donations, we rely on our regular registration fees," Hart said. "We are asking our community to help."

There are separate GoFundMe pages for the Little League and Youth Football and Cheer, and officials say they are hopeful the community can help.

Town cleanup crews continue to work, and while the building is structurally sound, it must be disinfected.

"We would like to thank everyone for your support!" Suffern Little League wrote. "Due to the generosity of this community, we are already 1/3 of the way towards our goal after just one day. On behalf of myself and the rest of the Suffern Little League board of Directors, we thank you. We are humbled by the generosity of our Suffern Little League family."


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