ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — The Abingdon High School softball team said it’s thankful for a surprise donation from musical artist Jelly Roll at Country Thunder.
“If you would’ve told me Saturday morning that later that night I would be meeting Jelly Roll, I would’ve laughed in your face,” said Abingdon junior softball player Alyssa Lindsay.
“We were just kind of standing there like, ‘Is this actually happening?’,” said Abingdon senior softball player Kinley Brooks. “Like we went from selling pizza to back here talking to Jelly Roll.”
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The Abingdon softball team has been fundraising since the beginning of the year to go to Orlando, Florida for a spring tournament.
“When we got the invitation [to the tournament], I just knew we had to do it, but I knew it was going to be a whole lot to fundraise this year,” said Abingdon softball coach, Chelsea Campbell.
The trip is going to cost the team $50,000 in total. They decided to sell pizzas at Country Thunder to raise money. Jelly Roll saw the team’s sign in the crowd and decided he would buy all of their pizzas.
“When he realized that we were only making a small percentage of each pizza sale, he then said, ‘Oh, that’s not going to do. We need to help you out.’,” said Campbell.
That’s when Jelly Roll decided to help cover the next payment the team had to make which was on their flights, totaling $6,000.
“We were all talking about how we were going to wake up and it was all going to be a dream,” said Brooks. “Like that was not the goal at all in the situation, we’re just the softball team raising money to go play in Florida.”
The kind gesture puts the team one step closer to going on the trip that they say is just an honor to even be invited to.
“We are out here as the varsity softball team, as females, as young women,” said Campbell. “And we’re working hard, and we’re trying to raise every bit of money ourselves, and the fact that he noticed us is just, it’s great. We’re so blessed and we’re really thankful for him.”
The players hope to be able to go on the trip to put their names on the map.
“It’s kind of crazy that we got the opportunity because no one knows where Abingdon is,” said Lindsay. “No one knows this high school, so it would really just be a chance for us to show how good we are and how hard we’ve worked.”
The softball team still has about $30,000 to $35,000 to pay on this trip, set for their spring break in the last week of March. Campbell said their final payment is due in February.
Their next fundraiser begins in November. You can follow those fundraisers and get in contact to help the team through its Facebook page. You can also contact Chelsea Campbell at Abingdon High School.