Last year, the Atwood-Hammond Little League team in Illinois raised a measly $10 in their hog raffle. This year, they upped the ante and as of Saturday they had raised more than $29,000.
Why? Because an AR-15 was on the table this time.
Charidy Bucher, the owner of Atwood Armory, told TheBlaze in a phone interview that each quarter the gun store in Atwood, Illinois, runs a fundraiser to benefit a non-profit. This quarter it was the youth baseball team, which is unaffiliated with the official international Little League.
Atwood’s story went viral mid-March and at this point Bucher said she has received donations from all 50 states.
“I don’t think anyone dreamed it would raise this kind of attention, this kind of dollar,” Bucher said.
So far the league has been approved for a brand new baseball diamond, a concession stand upgrade and much-needed equipment replacement. The hope is to have the new diamond completed in June before the season really gets underway, since four teams shared one diamond in prior years.
Equipment was a top priority because it had become a safety issue in the past, according to Bucher whose 5-year-old twins play on the one of the teams.
“Helmets didn’t fit. Catcher equipment was too big,” she said.
But the second field for the league, which has teams composed of children age 4 to 15 years old, will also prevent them from having to play in a forest preserve among the trees when the main field was occupied by other teams.
“Everyday my son asks how much money we’ve raised,” Bucher said. “They’re ecstatic about the new T-ball diamond.”
Other teams have recently had raffles shut down for the featured item being a firearm. But Bucher was clear that none of the league’s children have any part in selling the raffle tickets. She said those wishing to buy tickets contact the store directly as it is the organizer.
Because it is a local youth league without federal, state or local funding, “we’re on our own to raise funds,” Bucher said.
Stay up to date with the raffle’s progress and how the funds are being used to benefit the teams on Atwood Armory’s Facebook page here. The raffle for the AR-15 and ammunition valued at $2,000 closes June 28 with tickets going for $20 each.
- Youth Baseball League Raffle Tremendously Successful After AR-15 Put Up for Grabs
- Cupcakes, Cookies and Guns: High School Rugby Team Raffle Sparks Controversy
- Winner of Gun Store’s Contest for an AR-15 Harassed on Facebook to Point Where They’ve Shut Down Account
- Radio Show Host Resigns After Making Threats, Bashing and AR-15 Giveaway and Firearms Owners
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.