Penn Academy Softball
Vandals targeted Penn Academy Softball on Monday night, breaking into a storage shed and destroying equipment, breaking glass, and torching an ATV the organization used for field maintenance. 
 
"I’m furious," said director Jim Dagostino. "It’s going to cost us thousands of dollars." 
 
Dagostino said a parent driving by shortly before 9 p.m. noticed flames adjacent to the field and called the fire department. Dagostino arrived moments later at a scene of broken glass, missing equipment, balls all over the field, and a smoldering quad sitting on the grass at Thomas Holme Park. 
 
"This field is where we live at for four to six months out of the year, maintaining, coaching, practicing," Dagostino said. "It's absolutely devastating." 
 
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the program on Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia has dealt with destruction. Dagostino said the equipment shed has been broken into and vandalized three times over the last two years, though this most recent occurrence was the worst. 
 
"We need to do anything we can to support them. That's why I'm here today, and that's why Senator [James] Dillon and Representative [Pat] Gallagher and I are going to sit down, get a wish list from them, and see if we can make those wishes come true," said Philadelphia City Councilman Mike Driscoll 
 
Vandals used a 4-by-4 to break the lock to gain entry to the shed. Dagostino believes a couple of teens caused the damage and posted pictures of the burning quad on Instagram. The account that made the post longer exists. 
 
"We are a small club and do not have the funds to replace these items for the girls, and with the spring season coming up in a couple of months, we need to try and replace what we can to get ready for the season," Dagostino said. 
 
For now, the arson unit is heading the investigation. 
 
The organization intends to have a community cleanup event at the field on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to remove the graffiti.
 
The organization has also created a GoFundMe to raise funds to replace the stolen equipment and the ATV. The club plans to knock down the broken shed and lay a concrete slab while purchasing a new equipment container for storage.
 
You can view the GoFundMe here

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post