One year after vandalism, volunteers renovate youth athletic club

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been one year since vandals made a mess of a kids’ ball park and stole a safe with money for a sick player. The Suffolk Youth Athletic Association was able to make up the funds that were in the safe, and on Friday volunteers spent the day renovating the facility.

Commissioner John Brinkley remembers the vandalism well.

Photos: Volunteers renovate youth athletic club

“It was pretty much chaos…You had cheese and chili just scattered amongst the walls, on top of the ceilings,” he said.

Since then, the organization has made some changes.

“The bar that used to be across the door got kicked in. They’ve all been reinforced with these anti-theft doors, where they can’t be kicked in any more,” Brinkley said.

This week, Lowe’s donated thousands in supplies and work, including a revamped entrance, new picnic tables, and fresh paint.

“They contributed $7,500 just in materials today, not counting all their time,” Brinkley said.

Mike Barnes of Lowe’s said the company selected the organization for the renovations through the “Heroes” project.

“It’s been here for a long, long time and thought that it would be a great place to add to the community or give back to the community, our time,” Barnes said.

The group expected to get most of the renovations done by the end of Friday. Their season ends October 31.

Police later connected the 2014 vandalism at the ball club to crimes at Sleepy Hole Golf Course and in Isle of Wight County.

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