Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Message from the League President

To All Southern Little League Families:

Welcome to another exciting year of Southern Little League Baseball. Spring is just around the corner and in just 2 weeks we will be enjoying the terrific atmosphere at Southern Little league and also enjoying some great baseball along the way.

As most of you are aware, 2006 was a very successful year at Southern. We had over 680 players participating in approximately 640 games. A number of teams had very successful tournament runs and all of the teams enjoyed a very competitive regular season. Major improvements were made to the fields and facilities, including grass infields on the minor and major fields, lighting on the minor fields, and improved backstop, sprinkling and drainage on the Junior and senior field.

In addition, the long-standing Southern Little League tradition of Family Day was even more special in 2006 with the dedication of the Missad Field and the inaugural raffle, which proved to be extremely successful.

All of this would not be possible without the many volunteers at Southern. A special thanks to the 80+ volunteers that showed up for clean up day! We appreciate what all the volunteers do and we continue to encourage everyone to consider getting involved, as the opportunities are endless and the rewards priceless. If you are not sure how to become involved in making Southern even better, the volunteer options are listed on the web site @ www.southernll.org.

Finally, a special thanks to the Missad family. Their generosity to SLL truly allowed 2006 to be a memorable year for all involved.

For 2007, the season is already shaping up to be one of the best ever at Southern. Continued improvements to the field, additional fundraising opportunities, and of course the sautéed onions in the concession stand, will all be part of the 2007 season.

An additional change to the 2007 season was an increase in player fees. In order to maintain the quality facilities and provide a great player experience, it was necessary to raise the fees to $100.

Perhaps it would be helpful to understand the sources of revenue for Southern to understand why the fees have increased. They revenue sources include; Players fees, Concessions, Fundraising activities, and Bingo.

Players Fees

If you have been involved with Southern for a number of years, you know that player’s fees have been $ 75.00/player for some time. The actual average cost per player is over $ 280.00. The portion not covered by the player fees comes directly from the other sources of revenue. With the moderate increase we will realize an additional amount of $17,000.00, which is necessary to make up for areas of income that has decreased as of late (bingo). We will continue to strive to maintain affordable fees but this can only happen if we continue to succeed in the other income streams. This is why we all need to support the league and its fundraising activities and volunteering opportunities. Increasing player fees is the last option, but at this time is necessary to financially maintain a quality program.


We drastically improved our revenue in the concession stand last year. The total revenue was up over 25% from 2005. We will build on the improvement’s we made last year which included; opening up at the city fields’ concession stands and selling the Southern water bottles. We will also look to make adjustments in our pricing and buying structure. Kelly Cross did an excellent job last year and we are happy that she will be back this year. When you see Kelly please let her know you appreciate all her hard work and I know she is always looking for volunteers.

Fundraising Activities

Currently we have 2 main sources of fundraising that we will continue to offer. The car raffle/ 50-50 that we started last year netted the league $ 16,000.00. Which for the first year is phenomenal and of those deeply involved are very proud of. The hard work of Tim Brower and the generosity of Matt Missad are much appreciated. We would like to see more support by the members of Southern Little League. We were surprised by the fact that the majority of tickets were sold to individuals outside of the league. We are looking into how we may better handle the raffle this year and would welcome any input that may help increase participation. If you have any idea’s or would like to volunteer to assist in running this raffle, please let me know

The second source of fundraising that we utilize is corporate sponsors. Bob Kaser and Bill Danhof are the board members in charge of this and are currently trying to expand this area as last year the monies raised were about $ 8,200.00 and they have set a goal of $ 20,000.00 for this year. If you know of any companies that would like sponsor a team or place their name and logo on an outfield sign please let either Bob or Bill know.


Most of you are probably not aware that Southern runs a bingo program every Friday night at Westgate Bowl in Comstock Park. Julie Jager has been running this for Southern for the last 15 years. Unfortunately the popularity of Bingo has dropped significantly over the last few years. At its height, Bingo raised approximately $ 170,000.00 of revenue for Southern Little League. Last year we raised $ 55,000.00. Bingo will continue as a valuable source of revenue, but we must be proactive in supplementing all of these funds.

In a nutshell, Southern Little League runs approximately $ 200,000.00 in costs for approximately 700 players. We want to keep our fees at an affordable rate for everyone. This can be done, but only if we see increased participation in volunteering and fundraising support.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following for countless hours and their dedication throughout last year. Director of baseball operations Mike Schwenneker, Concessions Kelly Cross, Finances Will Jager, Field and maintenance Bob Hams and Joe Malewitz, Umpires Jeff Elble and Phil Cusey, Board members Marcia Lewis, Joe Mead, Tim Brower, Dave Veen and Mark Norton

In conclusion thank to all of you for your support in making Southern Little League the best league in the area. With everyone’s efforts we will continue to offer the kids a great avenue for baseball, fostering lifelong relationships, and mostly a place they can go and have fun!!!!

Bernie Malewitz
President (interim)
Southern Little League