SLV Little League Chooses Cricket Fan Over Little League Mom For Opening Day Ceremonies
|At least it won't be one of these guys.|
Youth sports have a way of creating more than a fair share of adult drama. With the first pitch a little more than a week away the SLV Little League Board of Directors voted to replace long time volunteer, fund raiser, and a former two term President of the League, Christina Wise, as the master of ceremonies for the annual Opening Day festivities in favor of Rosemary Chalmers, the British born radio host of Good Morning Monterey Bay.
Wise is listed as the events coordinator on the league website and has organized the activities for Opening Day for four years, turning it into one of the biggest fundraising events of the year. She says she was unceremoniously tossed out at a recent Board meeting without warning and told by one board member that "there had been complaints" although none have been made public. She is particularly distressed because her son will age out of the league this year so it would be her last turn at the mic introducing the players and coaches and generally keeping the event moving and entertaining for 45 minutes.
Wise says she does not know Ms Chalmers, but cites her own familiarity and with the players as well as her history with the event and the league among her qualifications. Because she has spent countless hours volunteering over the last 5 years she believes she deserves the honor. Her supporters seem to agree. An online petition to have her reinstated was started this weekend and had 67 signatures when last checked. Debbie Turner of Boulder Creek wrote: "She has worked hard pulling Opening Day together and deserves to complete it by being emcee on that day. She is also funny and high energy."
Tom and Martha Chestnut of Brookdale wrote: "She has the experience, she has knowledge of the players, she’s witty, and she makes it fun for the kids and the families. Due to her special flare, I have always looked forward to Opening Day with Christina being one of the main attractions. Christina has put her time into this league, more than most, and deserves to take the mic for one last season."
A request for comments from the Little League Board President, Larry Ebright, has gone unanswered. Board member Sue Sutherlin, listed as "League Information Officer" did respond but made it clear she was speaking only for herself and not as spokesperson for the league: "I am shocked and saddened at what has happened. Christina has worked tirelessly for our league for five years. She has served as announcer for our league numerous times, and in my opinion, done an excellent job each time and I am unaware of any good reason why she should have been 'relieved of her duties'. "
For her part, Chalmers, who lives in Ben Lomond, said she was approached by a neighbor, Sean Castagna, (who is listed as Safety Officer for the league) and asked if she would consider the job. As an avid supporter of the local community she agreed to lend her talent to the event going so far as cancelling a previous commitment. She was unaware of the brewing controversy.
Opening Day is scheduled for March 9th at SLV High School.