Butler County baseball fields for special needs kids vandalized

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Alan Lakamp of Challenger baseball talks about graffiti at the baseball fields in Crawford Woods.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The start of a new season for Butler County Challenger Baseball always comes with fun surprises for children in the league that caters to those with Down syndrome, autism, muscular deficiencies and other special needs.

Visits from baseball players and members of the military have helped to build excitement for every new season since the league launched nearly 30 years ago.

But the surprise Alan LaKamp discovered at the Hamilton fields this week was not a good one.

The dugouts were covered with graffiti.

MORE: Butler Tech students recently repaired dugouts

“It’s heart-breaking. It’s not acceptable,” said LaKamp, president of the Butler County Challenger Baseball League.

“It’s just one more thing added to the expense that we have to shell out, out of our pocket … it’s just not fair to these kids,” he said.

Now volunteers will have to put in extra time and extra money to get the facilities at Crawford Woods in Hamilton ready for the league’s opening day on Sunday, May 7.

“We put in a lot of time, a lot of money into these fields to make them nice … We don’t need the extra stuff going on here to make it bad, for these families to see this,” LaKamp said.

LaKamp said he will review surveillance cameras and meet with Hamilton police to try to catch the vandals.

“We’ve been having vandalism down at the Challenger baseball field for quite a while,” he said.

In addition to the graffiti, someone stole an American flag and broke a picnic table at the ballfields.

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