Support Local Little League and Win a New Vehicle

Ian Pratt of Pratt auto dealership in Calais is donating a two-year lease for a brand new, fully loaded 2018 Chevrolet Silverado. 2,000 tickets are being sold now for the truck, with all of the proceeds to be donated to the Calais and Machias Little Leagues - representing a total of 500 children between the two communities. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

Summer isn’t complete without baseball, or so you’d hear from approximately 500 children from across Washington and Charlotte counties. Such is the number of youths participating in either the Calais or Machias Little Leagues – both of which have been selected by Ian Pratt to be the recipients of the proceeds of a now-underway raffle for a 2018 fully loaded Chevrolet Silverado.

The Little League teams of  Calais and Machias are open to both boys and girls, beginning at age 4. Children can begin their experience with the organization playing Tee-Ball, joining either the baseball or softball league of their choice once they reach an appropriate skill level. Teams play against one another in their local league before playing against other teams in the division, potentially moving on to state and then regional competitions based on their performance. Both leagues were founded in the 1950s and draw participants from all over their associated areas.

“I’ve always been a big supporter of Little League,” said Ian Pratt, owner of Pratt auto dealership in Calais. “These kids are getting outside, they’re getting exercise, they’re learning discipline and team work and it’s all run by volunteers.”

Pratt said he is particularly supportive of Little League because of its practice of always allowing all of the participating children to play. “Every kid gets in the field, and every kid gets a chance to hit. It’s a really great organization.” For the Calais and Machias leagues in particular, Pratt said that he appreciates that no child is prohibited from playing if they can’t afford to. Scholarships that cover the participation fee – which both Calais and Machias keep at the lowest possible amount – are available, and those that can’t afford their equipment will be covered. “Every kid that wants to play will get the opportunity to play,” Pratt said.

Little League has many associated operating costs, from equipment to maintaining the fields. Ben Collins, manager of the Calais Little League, provided that as much as $400 a year is spent on baseballs alone.

To help offset the costs of running the League and to ensure that all children are able to continue playing, Pratt is donating a two-year lease for a brand new 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Double Cab Z71 4X4, valued at $46,400. Pratt will be covering the lease, which is for approximately $15,000 a year, and paying all of the sales tax involved. The winner will need to qualify for the lease, although Pratt explains that it is fully transferable. “If you win and you don’t qualify, then Aunt Mary can get a truck,” he suggested.

The truck will be raffled off once 2,000 tickets – priced at $25 each – have been sold. The proceeds will be split between Calais and Machias.

“I think it’s great that Ian’s willing to help our community out,” Collins said. “That’s a big prize for someone that normally couldn’t afford something like that.”

Referring to Pratt’s offer as “extremely generous,” manager of the Machias League Corey Schwinn summarized what a ticket purchase amounts to. “It’s basically a donation to Little League with a chance of winning a truck for two years.”

 

To purchase a ticket, contact a board member of your local Little League or email Ben Collins at admin@calaislittleleague.org or Corey Schwinn at machiasarealittleleague@gmail.com. Tickets are also available at the Pratt dealership itself.