Destin Little League celebration set May 14; whiffle ball tourney to benefit Kohltan Ward Scholarship Fund

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The celebration is back on. 

In March, the Destin Little League Association canceled opening day ceremonies due to weather. But the celebration is back on and set for Saturday, May 14. 

“This is one of the most exciting parts of Little League for the kids every year with the parade,” said Destin Little League President Jason Alley. “We were unable to do it for opening day, so we’ve decided to do it for closing day.”

In 2021, the Destin Little League Association celebrated opening day with a parade to the ball park and exhibition games. This year they will be doing a closing day celebration with a parade and ring ceremony.

Most of the inner-league tournaments will wrap up by the weekend and it will be time for celebration. The league boasts 32 teams, made up of 385 youth. 

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The closing day celebration will be set up like most opening days. Teams are asked to gather near the track behind Destin Elementary School and the walking parade is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. The teams will proceed down Kelly Street to Hickory then around the bend to Dalton Threadgill Little League. 

On opening day of Destin Little League there is always an introduction of teams. This year the league is having a closing day ceremony with a parade and introduction of teams, followed by a whiffle ball tournament.

There will be an introduction of the teams on the major league field as always, followed by a special “ring ceremony” for the four All-Star teams in the league that won District titles last year, according to Matt Dahlman, treasurer for the league. 

From 2021:Destin All Stars roll right through for District 1 title, play for Section

More:Destin 9U All-Stars put away Shalimar in two games for district baseball title

The four teams to be recognized and presented rings are the 9Us; 10Us, who also won section and went to state; 12Us; and the Intermediate team, who also went to state. 

Following the ceremony, the league will have a whiffle ball tournament to benefit the Kohltan Ward Scholarship Fund. Kohltan was a young man in the Destin Little League that was injured while riding his bicycle in October 2020 when he was struck by a vehicle. He died five days later on Oct. 22. 

Last year the league gave out two $1,000 scholarships through the Kohltan Ward Scholarship Fund and this year they will give out three, Dahlman said. The scholarships are for high school baseball and softball players. In 2021, Jake LeBlanc and Lexi Herring each received $1,000. This year, Ismael Ramos-Dottin, Konnor Colvin and Valerie Mundo are the recipients of the scholarship. 

From 2020:Destin's Kohltan Ward remembered at celebration of life memorial service at Little League park

In addition to the fun tournament, there will be bounce houses for the youth as well as an open concession stand. 

“It’s going to be a relaxed atmosphere,” Dahlman said. 

In 2021, Destin Little League Association celebrated opening day  with a parade to the ball park and exhibition games at Dalton Threadgill Little League Park.

“We didn’t want the kids to miss out … so we thought of something fun to do, plus it’s a way to keep the scholarship fund going," he added. “Hopefully the kids will enjoy it."