HENRY COUNTY, Ind. – Police are searching for thieves who targeted a baseball league for players with disabilities.
On Saturday, volunteers with the New Castle Miracle League arrived at Baker Park to begin setting up for their usual weekly games. However, they soon discovered a door to the concession stand had been removed.
It appeared someone used tools to take off the hinges of the door to get inside. They then noticed all the candy, chips, and drinks were missing, along with the cash register.
“Its not just financial," said Team Mom Betty Gipe. "It's an emotional thing too. It hurt everybody. I don't think there were many dry eyes on Saturday.”
The New Castle Miracle League is a baseball league for kids and adults with disabilities. Now in it's tenth season, the league has 136 players split among 12 different teams.
“I've watched the Cubs win the World Series, and the baseball here is ten times better than that,” said the League's director Cindy Brooks. Brooks started the New Castle Miracle League, after seeing the joy the game brought to her daughter Hannah.
Because of the joy these players look forward to every week, volunteers knew the games must go on.
"The only thing we could do was sit there and try to keep the mood going," said Cole Cornett, who works as a buddy with the Miracle League. "Get some happiness back in them, see some smiles and go back and play the games.”
Word of the robbery quickly spread around town, and as the players took the field, the community got to work.
"The community heard about it right away and we started receiving donations," said Brooks. "Everything was replenished within a few hours.”
Despite what happened, Brooks says she doesn’t want to see those responsible put behind bars. Instead, she wants them on the field, so they can see the people they’ve touched.
“Come volunteer, put them out here, have them play some games with us," Brooks said. "You just have to come here and enjoy it, and that's what I think I'd want them to to do, they should come be apart of that.”
The reward has now grown to $500 dollars, all from donations. If you have any information on the culprits, you’re asked to contact the New Castle Police Department.
The League also set up a gofundme to take in other donations. You can find a link HERE.