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Illinois District 17 Grows by Three Leagues for 2005 Season

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (March 7, 2005) – Southeastern Illinois will be flush with Little League this spring with the addition of three newly-chartered Little Leagues for the 2005 season.

Illinois District 17 will expand from 14 to 17 leagues with the addition of Jerseyville Little League, Calhoun Little League located in the town of Hardin, and Southwestern Little League, in Brighton.

Tim Ward, Illinois District 17 Administrator, and Jim Kelly, vice-president of Southwestern Little League, were instrumental in bringing these three leagues into the Little League program.

Mr. Ward worked with Dan Velte, director of league development for Little League Baseball and Softball, and Mike Legge, league development manager, to organize and educate these communities regarding the benefits, and opportunities offered through affiliation with Little League. The League Development Department takes a pro-active approach to brining new programs into the Little League fold.

“This was an area that has shown a genuine interest and willingness to become a part of the Little League family,” Mr. Velte said. “Tim Ward put in many hours with these new leagues. Networking and coordination efforts helped to bring Little League to an area of Illinois that believes it can best serve its children by becoming a part of our program.”

Illinois fields nearly 5,000 Little League teams, with more than 74,000 players participating. The District 17 boundaries include areas of suburban St. Louis and Southeastern Illinois.

“After a great deal of debate and continued phone calls to other area representatives, we all decided to move forward with the process of becoming affiliated with Little League,” Mr. Kelly said. “We feel that the Little League program is of the highest quality, and are proud to offer this type of program to our communities. All of these new leagues will strive to provide the very best for the children.”

“Little League has a great tradition,” Sue Nelson, president of Calhoun Little League, said. “Our players, coaches, and parents are all pleased to be involved with an organization that has spread sportsmanship, and friendly competition around the world. We hope that the teams we enter into the program will continue to demonstrate those characteristics.”

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.

Tim Ward (Illinois District 17 administrator), second from right, presents a Little League charter to Jim Kelly (vice-president, Southwestern Little League). Southwestern Little League volunteers also pictured, from left to right, are: Shaun Seymour, Doug Francis, Rusty Mitchell, Scott Rushing (president), Darin Rhoades, Joe Pence, Cynthia Hayes (secretary), Kim Nixon (treasurer), Tammy Seymour, and Tricia LeMarr. To the right of Mr. Ward is Tim Farmer. Southwestern Little League, located in Brighton, Ill., is one of three new leagues to charter with Little League in Illinois District 17 for the 2005 season.

Tim Ward (Illinois District 17 administrator), third from right, presents a Little League charter to Marty Short (president, Jerseyville Little League). Jerseyville Little League volunteers also pictured, from left to right, are: Tim Davis, Ross Breitweiser, Randy Scott, Jeff Soer, and Dan Beuttel.

Tim Ward (Illinois district 17 administrator), far right, presents a Little League charter to Tim Bick (vice president, Calhoun Little League). Calhoun Little League volunteers also pictured, from left to right, are: Duane Sievers, Scott Margherio, Butch, Friedel, and Dave Hagen. Calhoun Little League is located in Hardin, Ill. The league’s president is Sue Nelson.