Little League carnival a big hit

(By Erika Costanzo) The Sonoma Valley Little League Carnival? It was a home run, or course.

May 18 was a sunny, fun-filled day to raise money for the Sonoma Valley Little League program. Balloons lined the fields, banners swayed in the breeze, music played, and numerous inflatables filled both fields, providing ample entertainment for kids of all ages. A 20-foot rock-climbing tower soared above the field adjacent to a “V-pod” bungee jumping simulation station.

But the biggest draw was most likely the dunk tank where dedicated Little League umpire, Kevin Dwelly allowed himself to be the target in a “Dunk the Ump” contest. He received several dunkings. What a great sport!

Another highlight: former Giants pitcher (2003-2007) Noah Lowry made a special appearance, first speaking to the audience about the power of believing in yourself, followed by 90 minutes of autograph signing, photographs and genuine conversation with kids and parents. One little leaguer talked to Mr. Lowry about his goal to hit that elusive home run. The former Giants pitcher replied by saying that hitting home runs is not the main thing for which to strive. “Consistency is what is important; not the big power plays, but being a consistent player and building a solid batting average.”

Another 12-year-old came to the event with an autographed photo of himself (at age four) with Mr. Lowry in Arizona at Spring Training over eight years ago. Mr. Lowry signed the same photo for a second time. Priceless!

The snack shack crew did an amazing job turning out burgers, hot dogs, chicken and cold drinks for all event attendees. The day ended with a raffle drawing that included of family-themed packages.

Tricia Baker, and her team, and Sonoma Valley Little League President Jay Gruendle, pulled off a great event that brought families together in the spirit of community, while at the same time raising money for our wonderful Little League program.

Photo: Noah Lowry with Sonoma Valley Little League players, Joseph and Anthony Costanzo.

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