The Riverhead Little League is getting set to host the state softball tournament for the 11-12-year-old majors division at Stotzky Park.
The six finalists in the state tournament will arrive July 8 and start playing July 9. The tournament could run as long as until July 13, with the one state champion moving onto the overall Little League World Series tournament in Williamsport, Pa. at the end of the month, according to Tony Sammartano, Riverhead Little League president.
The games will be played at Stotzky Park, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day until a champ is crowned.
But while hosting the event is an honor for Riverhead Little League, it’s also expensive, Mr. Sammartano said.
The host league has to provide lunches for players and pay the lodging costs for the players, although not for the players’ families.
As a result, Riverhead Little League has planned a number of fundraising events to help in the effort.
“We really could use your support,” Mr. Sammartano said in an appeal to members of the community. “It’s a big event and something a league doesn’t get to have very often.”
The last time the state championship was held in Riverhead was about 2004, he said.
A July 8 fundraising banquet at Calverton Links’ Eagle Landing restaurant is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 at the door, and there will be a 50-50 raffle and a Chinese auction that also will serve to help offset Riverhead Little League’s overall costs.
League officials are still hoping local residents or businesses can make donations or provide gifts to be auctioned off.
Mr. Sammartano said some businesses have been very generous, such as Home Depot, Digger O’Dell’s bar and restaurant and McDonald’s.
Another way the league is raising funds is through a journal for the tournament.
The league is selling one-page ads for $300, half-page ads for $200 and quarter-page ads for $75.
Mr. Sammartano asks that anyone interested in donating items for the Chinese auction, buying a journal ad or making any kind of contribution to the Little League call him directly at (631) 767-8206.
So, what are the chances of a local team playing in that tournament?
Mr. Sammartano said the Riverhead team was eliminated Thursday, but that the North Shore league’s team, which covers Mount Sinai to Shoreham was still alive as of Thursday night.