LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It may be cold outside, but inside Whitaker Bank Ballpark it's already baseball season!
"Oh, we love it!" said Wynn Harris, coach of the South Laurel High School baseball team.
Teams from all over Eastern Kentucky made the trip to the Lexington ballpark to suit up and take the field because this round of games is being played for a cause: their neighbors.
"It's a great opportunity, number one, to play in a great venue and the opportunity to be able to go back into our community to get some help to some people that really needed it," said Coach Harris.
The invitational event is called "Hits for Home" and it's sponsored by Whitaker Bank and the Lexington Legends. Proceeds will go to the Salvation Army which will then allocate the money back into the communities hit hard by the March 2012 tornadoes.
"It means the world to us. These communities give so much to us, as an organization, and so just the opportunity to step in there and help," explained Brad Thomas, Vice-President of Whitaker Bank, "this is an opportunity that we felt we needed to take advantage of."
So they all showed up Laurel, Menifee, Elliott, even Morgan County will take part, just to name a few.
"I think it's an excellent opportunity for everyone to pull together and show support for the counties that were hit by the tornadoes," said Brenda Warren, principal of Menifee County High School.
No matter what county is written across the player's jersey, everyone in the invitational knows it's not what happens on the diamond but what's happening back in their communities that really matters.
"We were so grateful for that! You know we don't care to come out here and sit in the cold, as you can see!" exclaimed Kim Hall, a mother of a Menifee County player.
For many of these teams, their friends are still working to rebuild their lives even a year later, so joining the game was an easy choice.
"We want to do anything we can for our community and we're grateful for when people want to come together and help us out," said Hall.
"We were all in for it!" added Coach Harris.
No matter what the scoreboard shows at the end of each game, this weekend everyone is a winner.
If you can't make it to the games but want to help, Whitaker Bank is accepting personal donations.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
5 p.m. Johnson Central vs. North Laurel
7 p.m. Prestonsburg vs. Lawrence County
Friday, March 15, 2013
5 p.m. Hazard vs. Sheldon Clark
7 p.m. Montgomery County vs. Nicholas County
Saturday, March 16, 2013
11 a.m. Wolfe County vs. Morgan County
1 p.m. Paintsville vs. Bath County