Charity vs. The Nanny State
This week a story came out about a little league team in Lennox, CA. The big controversy was that Lennox little league was given $1,200 by a local strip club to help save the season. While this drew a lot of attention, Lennox Little League actually turned down the donation because it might seem an inappropriate sponsor for kids’ sports teams, which also includes a division for young girls.
I myself have an 8 year old that might actually die if he couldn’t play baseball, so I decided to find out more about the story. As it turns out, Lennox Little League may just be the latest victim of the nanny state.
Larry Altman posted a first hand account of the effort to revive Lennox little league:
Fifteen years ago, I went to Lennox Middle School to do a story on a Lennox sheriff’s detective’s effort to restart the community’s dormant Little League.
“They won’t play on soft clay infields,” I wrote. “They won’t wear fancy uniforms — just T-shirts and caps. They’ll hit with whatever bats they can scrounge up.
“But for the first time in four years, boys and girls in Lennox will be playing Little League baseball.”
I met with Detective Lawrence Del Mese and about 10 boys who “spent their Friday afternoon in the hot sun, using hoes and rakes to dig cut-outs for the bases on their school’s grassy athletic field, which until now was used primarily for soccer.”
So a policeman and some local boys did all the work at the school field just to play in T-shirts with whatever equipment they could find. But fast forward to this year and a Lennox program with about 500 players, and suddenly the Lennox School District sees Lennox Little League as the next risk to children in need of regulation.
First, they restricted parents from selling “unhealthy” hamburgers and hot dogs, which is how the league made its money. Then they doubled the fees they charge Lennox Little League to use the field claiming that the school district now has to provide security guards on the weekend to cover Little League activities. The irony is that the nanny state that seeks to control the little leaguers diet and provide private security, will actually force the league out of business so the kids can stop exercising and go get a burger at the closest fast food restaurant, where they can join a gang and increase the need for security throughout Lennox. Except then, there won’t be a little league team to forward the security bill too.
Ultimately, someone in legislature will have to step in to open schools to kids, where we played when we were kids. Public tax dollars pay for public schools, who now charge fees to the public to use them.
I could make point after point about the damage government ( and yes, school boards) do in the name of protecting us and our children, but that argument would last a lot longer than Lennox Little League. The bottom line is that government (yes, including school boards) is force, or in this case, forced out of business.
What Lennox Little League needs right now is good old fashioned charity. Charity that comes from the heart and seeks to help, not control the recipient. Charity that benefits all those who need it, not just a select group. The kind of charity that built this great nation, where people are given a hand up, instead of a hand out, and the giver isn’t robbed against his will to support that which he opposes.
Lennox Little League is in a low income community that takes payments for the (reduced) $85 player fee. Just 60 people making a $20 donation would make up the donation they gave back to the strip club. If you can help, please send your tax deductible donation to: Lennox Little League, 10514 Condon Ave, Lennox, Ca 90304.
Charity may give them the chance to learn to catch, throw and hit, but it may give them something else this year as well; a lesson in charity vs. the nanny state.