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Letter to the Editor

Writer expresses concession sales problems from personal experience

web posted July 16, 2009
Dear Editor,
In 1991 I was serving as President of my local DYB league in Louisiana. Our league was small and consisted of around 120 players total, spread out over 3 age groups.  As I've  stated in earlier letters, the individuals who serve in these roles are at times expected to wear several different hats. In my case, I was responsible for everything from paper work to field upkeep.

When I took over the position, I was told that we employed a trusted family to run our concession stand.  This family had been doing the job for several years and everyone seemed to be quite happy with the results.  The family was responsible for all aspects of the concession stand.  At the end of each week they would deposit the profits into the league bank account. My Treasurer was familiar with this routine so I turned my attention to other jobs.

Before long I found myself in the middle of a season and was focused on the many tasks required of me. At the conclusion of our season, the board met for a final review.  When I began looking at the financial summaries, I was shocked to see that our concession stand had not made a single deposit throughout the entire season.  In addition, there were no records of food and drink bought.  What followed was a full investigation by the local Sheriff's Department, one which caused a tremendous amount of bad feelings in our small community.

In the end, I took the blame for the loss of funds.  After all, it happened on my watch and I was the person ultimately responsible.  While no criminal charges were ever brought forth against the family responsible for our concessions, it signaled a need for dramatic change in the way business was being conducted.

Since moving to Edgefield in 1999, I've been both a vocal supporter and critic of our local DYB program.  And while I understand that the Bettis Park Concessions have nothing to do with Edgefield Dixie Youth Baseball, I do believe that we are seeing a fundamental flaw in the way our youth sports programs work in conjunction with the County.  I commend you for your investigation into this serious matter and hope that you're able to reveal the answers needed.

In many ways I can identify with our County Administrator. Just as I trusted my Treasurer to check on the weekly deposits of our local concession stand, Mr. Pettigrew put his trust in the person under him who was responsible for the overseeing of the Bettis Park Concessions. I've met with Mr. Pettigrew on several occasions and found him to be both courteous and open to suggestions. 

John L. Brown Jr.
Edgefield, South Carolina

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