HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Harrisburg Senators have joined forces with First National Bank for the ‘Homefield Makeover’ initiative to transform one of the Cedar Cliff Youth Softball Association’s fields.
“It means a lot to us,” said the Senators Director of Community Relations JK McKay. “Regardless of the size of the impact that we can make, it’s cool to be helping a local organization become better.”
The Cedar Cliff Youth Softball Association serves between 109 and 130 girls from 6U to 16U every season. The field being renovated is used by all of their age groups but serves as the primary location where their older players compete.
“I think [it] means a lot to be able to have a good field for girls playing softball that could be hopefully going to play for the high school team and beyond,” McKay said.
The problem was that every time it rained the field, which sits at the bottom of a hill, flooded.
“If it rain[ed] on a Monday and they [had] a game scheduled for Friday, there [was] not a chance that they could actually play that game even though it [was] 5 days later,” McKay said.
The Senators crowned the field to allow for better runoff, put in new dirt that has better drainage qualities, replaced bases and base anchors and added a backstop for the fence that will allow the barrier to last longer and make it safer for the girls when a ball bounces off of it. Cosmetically, they also did weeding.
Overall, it amounts to $10,000 worth of renovations.
“It’s exciting to be chosen for this and we are proud of our girls and we’re proud of the organization that we have created,” said the president of the Cedar Cliff Youth Softball Board Cami Witmer. “It’s great for the Cedar Cliff Youth softball community.”
Witmer has been with Cedar Cliff since 2018 and the fields’ flooding issue has been the number one priority the organization has been working to amend since then.
“With the Senators’ help coming in to do that [is] really exciting for us and it’s exciting for our organization and I think even Borough Park because they’ll also benefit from having the field a little bit more stable,” Witmer said.
Before the updates, Witmer said that coaches and board members with Cedar Cliff had to go to the field every time it rained and push the water off, rake and soak up as much water as possible.
“If it’s bad we [had] to cancel practices or reschedule games because it [was] just unusable,” Witmer said.
About 40-50 people helped to renovate the field on Nov. 15 with members from the Harrisburg Senators organization, First National Bank and the Cedar Cliff Youth Softball Association volunteering.
Witmer highlighted the importance of softball and why having a safe place to play the game is necessary for young girls.
“It’s very important for people to be a part of a team [and] work together because it not only helps you on a softball field, but it helps you later on in life,” Witmer said. “Our organization tries to encourage that.”