Families hold fundraiser to travel to Little League World Series

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Hundreds of people stood in line Tuesday night to take a bite out of Goodlettsville Little League's team budget.

Families, friends and fans of the Goodlettsville All Stars packed Moss-Wright Park on Caldwell Lane, where the team played regular season games, to support post season play in the Little League World Series.

"A lot of these people here tonight are Goodlettsville citizens who don't have any affiliation with children or the teams at all. They're just people that came out to support us," said Dennis Birdwell, a Goodlettsville youth baseball supporter for more than 40 years.

The local team traveled to Williamsport, in north central Pennsylvania and home of the World Series, after beating heavy hitters from Warner Robins, Georgia, in the Southeast Regional Tournament on August 10.

For the last several days, the pre-teens have been outfitted with new uniforms, bats, helmets, and bats, as well as participated in player evaluations.

Families have been at home, anxious to join them.

"It's absolutely imperative that I'm there," Susan Snyder, mother to All Star Andrew Snyder, said of the World Series games.

All Star Seth Marlin's father, Jerry, added, "I've got to be there. There's no way I can miss it."

On Tuesday, volunteers cooked up hot dogs and hamburgers and sold ball caps and t-shirts to help cover the cost of travel, lodging and food for families' World Series trips.

"They're going to be up there two weeks, and they've been playing tournaments since June," Birdwell said.

"It's probably a couple thousand dollars," Snyder said of the cost for traveling to the Williamsport.

The cost of a hotel room in Williamsport is approximately $200 a night, for parents that have been sacrificing time and money all summer long.

The cookout raised more than $6,000. In two days, volunteers have been able to collect a total of nearly $25,000 from supporters, just short of their $35,000 goal.

Despite the high cost, parents told News 2 the opportunity is priceless.

"I think it would be huge for every kid to when they see the crowd and walk out on that field and see every mom or dad, or at least a mom or dad in that stadium, is going to be able to give them that comfort knowing 'Okay, I can go play ball,'" Marlin said.

The Little League World Series runs August 16-26. Goodlettsville All Stars play the first game of the double elimination tournament Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. CT, in Southeast Regional uniforms. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

If the team wins Thursday, they will play Sunday, August 19 at 1 p.m. CT on News 2.

If they lose, they will play Saturday, August 18 at 2 p.m. CT on News 2.

Donations can be made at the league's Web site.

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