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Ace announces Ace/Little League 'Fields for the Future' program winners

Ace to renovate five Little League fields in 2006
Little Leaguers in communities across the country take to the field every year to participate in the nation’s beloved pastimes of baseball and softball. However, many times the local ballparks they play on go for years without needed maintenance or repairs, as often the resources are simply not available.

This year, Ace Hardware, in partnership with its sponsorship of Little League® Baseball, will “team up” to “pitch in” and “fix up” Little League fields in need of a little do-it-yourself “TLC” through the Ace/Little League “Fields for the Future” program.

National home improvement expert and Ace’s “Helpful Hardware Man” Lou Manfredini will lead the “Lou Crew” (consisting of the nominating Ace retailer and a group of local volunteers) into battle. Winning locations receive $2,500 worth of Ace product and a day’s work to repair, renovate and beautify the baseball and softball fields. In addition, Ace will donate $2,500 worth of Ace Gift Cards to the winning leagues, and Midwest Rake, an Ace vendor partner, will donate a special field maintenance product package valued at nearly $1,000 to help maintain each field.

Earlier this fall, we asked Little League representatives to partner with their local Ace stores and nominate a field in need in their community. We received approximately 120 nominations and selected five grand prize winners (one winner for each of the five Little League regions). The winners are as follows:

Central Region
Beckum-Stapleton Little League (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Sponsored by: National Ace Hardware (store no. 6664-I)
Project: Mr. James Beckum, co-founder of Beckum-Stapleton Little League, takes pride in every field and every player that plays in the league. At 76 years of age, you can find Beckum working from dawn to dusk to maintain the fields just so the children have “a field like the pros.” Ace will help Mr. Beckum give this field a much-needed makeover for the next generation of little leaguers to enjoy.

Eastern Region
Rome National Little League (Rome, N.Y.)

Sponsored by: Ace Hardware Co. of Rome (store no. 10220-E)
Project: Established in 1952, Rome National Little League services primarily low income families. Each year, the league tries to make improvements to their fields; however, funds have been a challenge. With just enough income to meet expenses, the funds to repair the minor league and t-ball infields have been scarce. The “Fields for the Future” project will help breathe new life into these fields.

Southern Region
John Knapp Little League (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Sponsored by: Lantana Ace Hardware (store no. 316-F)
Project: John Knapp Little League’s fields have been hit hard by three major hurricanes over the past 13 months. Their fencing is down, the backstops are gone and the dugouts don’t have benches. Ace will help the league turn their field into a true-life “field of dreams.”

Southwest Region
Westbury Little League (Houston, Texas)

Sponsored by: Ace Hardware City (store no. 5595-D)
Project: Westbury Little League won the Little League World Series in 1966, and, in celebration of their 40th anniversary championship season, would like to renovate their fields. With Ace’s help, they will replace damaged fences, construct new outfield walls, rebuild dugouts and make improvements to the concession stand.

Western Region
Westchester Little League (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Sponsored by: B&B Hardware (store no. 6490-A)
Project: Westchester Little League is a strong, community involved league, consisting of two fields (one for the older children, and the “farm field,” designated for 6-8 year olds). As with most organized sports, much of the league’s resources go toward the older divisions, and as a result, the farm field is in need of repair. Ace will help build new dugouts, have new base paths cut, assist with backstop maintenance and lay down new grass seed.

Congratulations to the winners and to all of those who nominated a field in their community.

For more information on the Ace/Little League “Fields for the Future” program, contact Ace Public Relations, 630-990-6923.