For communities around the world, the spring of 2020 has seen a variety of unprecedented situations that have caused both financial and logistical challenges, but with the help of the continued support of Honda, the Official Vehicle of Little League Baseball and Softball, 18 local Little League programs will be returning to the ballfield with a new sense of hope thanks to the Little League Honda Grant Program.
“We know these have been difficult times for all of our leagues, volunteers, and families, and are thankful to our great partners at Honda for their continued support with their generous grant program,” said Liz DiLullo Brown, Little League Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Over the past 20 years, this financial grant program has allowed a great number of local leagues to create or improve the experience on local Little League fields for thousands of children. The awarding of the 2020 Honda Little League grants to local Little Leagues is particularly helpful this year. On behalf of Little League International, we thank Honda for all the dedication, support, and kindness they have shown our leagues this year and over the past two decades.”
Since it was established in 2001, the Little League Honda Grant program has donated more than $1.7 million to local leagues in need to help create a safe, fun environment for Little Leaguers to play and grow by improving playing fields, purchasing updated equipment, and rebuilding local programs devastated by natural disasters. This year, Honda invested $100,000 and awarded the following 18 local leagues with grants:
- Albany (N.Y.) National Little League
- Berlin (Md.) Little League
- Brownstown (Mich.) Little League
- Bull City Little League (Durham, N.C.)
- Gateway Little League (Huntington, Mass.)
- Horner Park North-West Little League (Chicago, Ill.)
- Morrisville (Pa.) Little League
- Mount Pleasant Area (Pa.) Little League
- Northfield (Vt.) Little League
- Norwood (Mass.) Little League
- Oxford (Pa.) Little League
- Raccoon Valley Little League (Des Moines, Iowa)
- Sailors Snug Harbor Little League (Staten Island, N.Y.)
- Saint Albans (W.V.) Little League
- Simi Valley (Calif.) Little League
- Mary’s (Pa.) Little League Softball
- Waltham (Mass.) Youth Baseball Little League
- Wheatland (Calif.) Little League
“We’ve appreciated contributing to the construction and maintenance of youth ballparks through the Little League Honda Grant Program for the past twenty years. Making sure these baseball fields are clean, safe and well-maintained has enabled us to share our commitment to our values of safety and the environment in a different way, in addition to our vehicles, and in partnership with Honda dealers. We look forward to the teams taking to the fields as soon as it’s safe or them to play ball again,” said Jay Joseph, vice president, marketing, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Along with the 18 programs who were named the recipients of the grants in 2020, a number of leagues who were awarded a grant in 2019 are also looking forward to returning to the field to enjoy the benefits this grant program has created for them over the past year. In 2019, Frederick (Md.) American Little League was awarded a Honda Grant to help restore their fields after they were destroyed by severe flooding in the area. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league was unable to return to the field as originally planned and ultimately had to cancel their spring and summer season, but remain excited to return to the field and enjoy the renovations the league was able to made thanks to this grant program.
“Our League has not played a home game since May, 2018 because of two devastating floods, and it was at that point we realized our home field was gone forever and that’s when Honda got involved,” said Rick Wilson, Frederick American Little League President. “Since we received the grant, we have worked hard to rebuild a new, unused field, away from any flooding. None of that would have been possible without the assistance from Honda and we will forever be grateful for their help. While it was very unfortunate to have lost our spring season due to COVID-19, we are very excited that things seem to be turning a corner and we will be out on the fields soon for our new extended, summer and fall seasons. We still have additional plans for the new field and cannot thank the folks at Little League and Honda enough for what they have done for the kids in Frederick American Little League.”
Over the past two decades, Honda helped more than 250 local Little League programs in 200 cities across the United States with projects ranging from natural disaster recovery and major facility projects, to complex repairs and development both on and off the field. In addition to the financial support, Honda has also worked with local leagues each year to connect those programs to their local Honda dealers in order to build a sense of community and assist with local donor support. Honda has been a proud sponsor of Little League Baseball and Softball since 1996, and in 2016 was recognized by Little League with the W. Howard Hartman Little League Friendship Award for their dedication to the program. To learn more about Honda’s support of Little League Baseball and Softball, click here.