Dozens of Chula Vista residents are in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to be with the All Stars from Park View Little League.
The 14 boys are the West representatives in the annual Little League World Series.
“We’re still in a daze. We don’t know what’s going on,” said Josh “JB” Bruce’s dad, Eric Bruce.
At the same time, the popular “West” gear will go on sale Friday at viewing parties across Chula Vista when Park View takes the field at 1 p.m.
“Fundraising is a huge priority for us,” said Bruce.
It’s a priority because it’s the only way some family members can afford to see their sons play on the grandest Little League stage.
Sixty-eight moms, dads and siblings will be in Pennsylvania for up to two weeks. The flights, ground transportation, hotels and food for everyone will cost at least $2,000 per person. That means Park View Little League needs to raise a minimum of $130,000 so that the dream tournament doesn’t become a financial nightmare.
The two-week trip is also a burden for parents who will be missing work. The three Park View coaches have only worked a handful of days in the past month as the team competed in tournaments to get this far. Most of the parents will burn through most of their vacation time. Bruce said his bosses are working with him to make sure he’s there for JB.
“They know how important it is so they’re letting me take some time off and work remote when I can. Others can’t do that,” he said.
That means fundraising becomes a lifesaver for some families.
Bruce said it’s also important for the 12- and 13-year-olds to have their parents at the games.
“You hear the crowd being really loud from first pitch to last pitch. You know, that’s our moms leading that charge,” said Bruce. “Not having them there would be like missing a player.”
A Park View spokeswoman said Southwest Airlines already donated 21 of the round trip flights and several businesses have stepped up with cash donations.