GUERNSEY – Little League programs all over the country at times can struggle to fund the programs which include equipment, field rental, payment of umpires and in some areas, payment of youth directors.
Small towns have to make due with antiquated equipment and directors are forever trying to piece things, patch things and borrow things so that the kids can enjoy their season. And it has only grown worse during the COVID pandemic where more equipment was needed as well as items including sanitizers, cleaning equipment and in some areas, gloves and masks.
Guernsey Little League run by Tri-City Parks and Rec is one of those programs that doesn’t have deep pockets, but councilman Shane Whitworth reached down deep into his own pocket and made a way to meet a need and encouraged others to follow his example.
“I got a text message from one of the parents last Friday that there was a need for some funds for additional gear,” Whitworth said. “So, I decided to donate my council check plus a little bit more.”
In addition, Whitworth went down to Kelley’s Bar, one of the local establishments where philanthropy happens quite often and is said to be quite infectious when it comes to meeting a need in the community.
He talked with Mayor Nick Paustian who also thought it was a worthwhile cause to donate to and people began to get on the bandwagon.
“Next thing I know, I have $600 donated,” Whitworth said. “In about an hour and a half. It’s the community. They’ll do anything for the kids. And that’s my biggest thing to. It’s for the kids.”
Whitworth who doesn’t personally have a horse in this race, saw a need and stepped up. That’s the epitome of the town of Guernsey. With the money, the organization was able to buy new multiple sets of catcher’s gear, helmets and baseballs.
“There was enough left over that I actually ordered jerseys for one of the teams as well,” he said.
Whitworth’s eyes light up when he tells about how he grew up playing baseball all around the country as what he describes as an “Air Force brat.” In 1989 Whitworth graduated from Central High School in Cheyenne which didn’t have a baseball team, and so his dream of being an outfielder at the next level ended. He saw firsthand what it was like not to be able to play, and wasn’t going to let that happen to the youth in Guernsey.
Some would say he’s a Samaritan, some would say he has the heart of a philanthropist, but whatever you call him, Guernsey has yet another example of someone in local government who leads by example.