Lights on: ACAC steps to the plate at Lane
The Lane Babe Ruth League’s opening day this year was a grim one, as League President Shannon Wilder told the crowd that Albemarle County had decided to stop funding the $5,300 yearly electric bill for the field’s lights on McIntire Road. The cut was part of an effort to trim the County’s $294 million budget, but while it only represented a fraction of the County’s expenditures, the $5,300 figure represented 10 percent of the Lane League’s annual budget.
Following the Hook’s April story about the Lane lights, several local businesses stepped up to the plate with sponsorships for the League, but recently one well-known business stepped up and knocked one out of the park.
“We read the article in the Hook and decided we were in a position to help,” says ACAC’s vice president of development Chris Craytor. “So we will be sponsoring the lights for the next 18 months.”
That came as welcome news to Wilder and the League.
“We were thunderstruck by ACAC’s offer,” says Wilder. “We never expected that we would find this level of support in the community and are thrilled that there is this much support for what we have to offer.”
The league holds evening practices and games from early March through the end of October. Without lights, Wilder says, the number of practices and games would have been cut by more than half.
“ACAC is happy to help. The Lane Babe Ruth League fulfills a real need in our community,” says Phil Wendel, owner of ACAC. “It is a small price to pay for keeping kids in the game.”