Arson destroys Little League gear, car dealers replace it

DARRINGTON — When arson destroyed the Darrington Junior Athletic Association’s storage shed at Whitehorse Community Park more than a week ago, Little League players all over town were distraught.

Most of their bats, baseballs and bases were gone.

Aden Requa, 9, immediately cycled thro

ugh the stages of grief — including anger, said his mother Jenny Requa.

“We’re not gonna have baseball anymore? I’m gonna get a bat and go hit the person who did this,” Aden told his mom.

This week, however, the Northwest Chevy Dealers association came to the rescue, supplying new equipment and a check for $8,600 from group’s Chevy Youth Baseball program.

“We are happy and excited to support the kids in Darrington,” said Dean Anderson, president of the Northwest Chevy Dealers. “They needed our help after the fire last week.”

The donation Wednesday was made by representatives of the car dealer association and the Everett-based Dwayne Lane dealership following the first inning of two Little League games against Concrete.

“The kids were ecstatic,” said Jenny Requa, who is the association’s president. “They were shaking hands with our visitors and thanking them over and over. I was very proud of all our players.”

The fire, which burned the shed during the early morning hours of May 5, was ruled an arson by the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s office, said deputy marshal Bruce Pulver. The investigation is ongoing, Pulver said.

After the fire, the athletic association’s coaches began cobbling together any equipment they could find for that night’s games, Requa said.

“Whatever we didn’t have on us in our trucks was in that shed,” she said, adding that it would have taken two or three years of fundraisers to replace all of the equipment.

The youth group lost more than $10,000 worth of equipment, including football and other sporting gear.

The athletic association involves 80 Darrington-area kids on seven spring ball teams, including T-ball players, teams that use pitching machines and Little League.

The donated money from Chevy dealers will go in part to building a new storage shed, Requa said.

“One that’s a little more fireproof,” she said.

So, for Aden and all the other baseball lovers in Darrington, the great American pastime goes on.

“Rain or shine,” Requa said.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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