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Dixie Youth tournaments a success

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It is with great pride that I write this letter on behalf of the Grayson County Recreation Park’s policy board.

Nearly 18 months ago, our board successfully bid to the Virginia State Dixie Youth Association for the honor of hosting not one, but two state tournaments simultaneously in Grayson County.

These tournaments had never been hosted in Grayson or Southwest Virginia, and winning the bid was an honor within itself.

The right to host the tournaments not only guaranteed our local all-star teams the chance to play at home, but it also guaranteed all of our recreation team players and local fans the chance to watch over 25 games of baseball among elite teams from Virginia.

Winning the bid was just the beginning of nearly two years of hard work and preparation for a week-long festival of youth baseball.

Grayson County Recreation Director Keith Weatherman, deserves special praise for not only organizing and managing two state tournaments, but also maintaining his sanity during the many hours of work leading to the events themselves.

His many hours of labor can only be classified as a love for the game and youth of Grayson County.

This baseball festival brought nearly 200 families into the Twin Counties from all over Virginia. During their stay, they bought food and gas at locally-owned businesses, and used local lodging from cabins in Mount Rogers to hotels in Carroll County.

They were exposed to what many of them called, “the nicest people we have ever met,” and to what we locally call “our mountain paradise.”

Many said it was the best tournament they had ever attended, and many more said “we will be back to visit Grayson County.”

Without a doubt, our baseball tournaments showcased what we all love most about our little piece of heaven.

Scores of volunteers donated thousands of hours and worked tirelessly to make this event a success. They renovated the concession stand and press box, built dugout covers, installed a new scoreboard, cleaned bathrooms, picked up trash, lined baseball fields, served as hosts to visitors, provided directions to lost or hungry visitors, parked cars, sold programs, helped out at the gate and concession stand, kept score and announced games, and helped find event sponsors!

There is no way that we can ever thank them enough for all of their hard work and selfless dedication to the youth of our area as well as the remainder of the state.

To our many friends and sponsors who supported the event financially or with donations, your contributions were equally as valuable and our thanks go out to each of you.

To anyone who attended the event and wishes to suggest improvements, please visit the park or speak to your local board member. We appreciate your feedback.

As the lights go out on another season of youth baseball and softball sponsored by the Grayson County Parks and Recreation Department, we want to again thank the recreation director, all of our park staff, volunteers, local leaders, and businesses for their continued support of the Grayson County Parks & Recreation Department.

J. Shannon Holdaway

Chairman

Grayson County Recreation Park Policy Board