Destin Little League Association closes out with celebration and fundraiser

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Decked out in their uniforms with banners in tow, members of the Destin Little League Association paraded down Kelly Street to the ball park Saturday for closing day ceremonies. 

The league opted for closing day ceremonies after the opening day celebration to kick off the season was canceled due to weather. 

Destin Little League players paraded Saturday as part of the closing-day celebration. The players, coaches and families walked down Kelly Street to the ball park.

But not wanting the youths to miss out on a “celebration,” the association went with a closing ceremony set up much like an opening day, with the introduction of teams as well as recognizing past team accomplishments. 

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The four All-Star teams in the league that won District titles last year were recognized and presented championship rings. The teams recognized were 9Us; 10Us, who also won section and went to state; 12Us; and the Intermediate team, who also went to state. 

Members of the Destin Little League teams lined the infield Saturday as part of the league's closing day ceremonies. Members of the All-Star teams from last year carried their banners onto the field.

Following the presentation of rings, the league had a whiffle ball tournament to benefit the Kohltan Ward Scholarship Fund. Kohltan was in the Destin Little League and was injured while riding his bicycle in October 2020 when he was struck by a vehicle. He died five days later on Oct. 22. 

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Last year, the league gave out two $1,000 scholarships through the Kohltan Ward Scholarship Fund. This year it will give out three $1,000 scholarships, according to Matt Dahlman, the Destin Little League treasurer. 

Members of the All-Star teams that won at District and Section last year were recognized at closing-day ceremonies.

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. 

Members of the All-Star teams that won at District last year show off their championship rings.

On Saturday, the league had a little more than 100 players participate in the whiffle ball tournament, which raised between $4,000 and $4,500 for the scholarship fund, Dahlman said. 

“I’m really pleased,” he said. “It will make sure we’re at 100% to fund the scholarship next year."

Hannah Brand of the Destin High School choir sang the national anthem at closing-day ceremonies at Dalton Threadgill Little League Park on Saturday.

However, Dahlman said his personal goal is to build the fund with a big enough balance to sustain it for years to come. 

To make a donation to the scholarship fund contact Dahlman at Matthew.dahlman@gmail.com.