In many ways, this is a stolen summer for young folks around Hiawatha.

The pool is out for the year, along with the swim team, soccer is gone, and spring sports all evaporated just as practices had begun thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But even with home ballgames taken off the table, the Hiawatha Youth Baseball Association is doing its best to introduce some normality for local kids by keeping them busy working on their baseball skills, and businesses in and around Hiawatha are pitching in to help keep the group afloat through this difficult season.

“The kids have lost so many things over the last several months,” says HYBA representative Seth Tollefson, adding, “Unfortunately playing league games wasn’t a viable option, so we went iwt hteh bext best option.” The Youth Baseball group is planning to hold practices throughout the summer and hopes to hold a few scrimmages later in the year. “The HYBA board thought it was important to do as much as we could to try to give the kids something to do this summer.”

But equipment is not free, and there was some concern among board members that with no jerseys featuring advertisements or specific teams to represent their businesses that local sponsors may pull their funding for the year. Those fears quickly dissipated as they began to contact sponsors, though. “Despite not playing in a league or have as many teams this year, all of our sponsors stayed on board,” says Tollefson, “We are very lucky to live a community where so many businesses and individuals are willing to support our youth.

The HYBA’s 2020 sponsors are as follows: Ryan Meininger Sate Farm, Hiawatha McDonalds, Hillyer Farms, Skyview Equipment, Morrill & Janes Bank, Pawz Grooming and Obedience Training, Pederson Seed, Jade Millwrights and Rainbow Communications.

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