Softball Season is in Full Swing...but What About the Marmaduke Kids?

APRIL 11, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CST

GREENE COUNTY, AR -- Tornados damaged so much last week in Marmaduke, including the girls' softball fields. They have already been rebuilt once after a tornado swept through in 1997.

 “It's sad to us that we have to go back and start over again, but we are lucky in Marmaduke that we didn't lose any lives this time. We lost two last time, so the material things can be rebuilt, but we can't rebuild those lives,” says Rodney Hampton, Marmaduke Parks and Recreation.

 So what is their plan? With so much damaged, it's hard to know where to even begin.

“All of our coaches that coach up here had homes either damaged or destroyed, so we're assessing right now what equipment needs that we'll need and a lot of our players lost uniforms and things or that nature,” says Hampton .

That is exactly what the Paragould Youth Softball Association is working to do. They started collecting a voluntary gate fee Monday night and will continue through the week. They've already raised well over $1,000 and hopefully that number will grow even more.

 “We wanted to do something for them so the girls that lost all their things, their equipment, their uniforms, that we could help them some how replace it, so they could keep some normalcy in their life,” says Lori Thompson, Paragould Youth Softball Association President.

Even some of the players wanted to help out.

 “I'm helping my mom take up gate money for Marmaduke because they lost everything they had and their softball stuff,” says Korie  Bryant, a Paragould 9 year old softball player.

They said they mainly have one goal in mind.

"Hope they can play softball again," says Bryant.

Not only have the parks lost most everything, but they've lost their incoming revenue. However, hopefully with the help of their good neighbors, these fields will be in play before long.

As for now, the Marmaduke Parks and Recreation said they are waiting on the federal government to provide assistance so they can begin to rebuild once again.