Volunteers help make tournament possible

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Little League Southeastern Baseball Regional Tournament gets underway at 10 a.m. July 7. 

Teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia will play for the chance at glory and a trip to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

To make the tournament happen, more than 100 volunteers are needed to make the seven-day tournament happen and some of those people come from Robins Air Force Base.

Ken Hathaway, 116th Maintenance Squadron isochronal supervisor, has been volunteering at both the softball and baseball tournaments since 2010 when the tournament moved to Warner Robins. 

"I feel like I want to do my part for a good cause," Hathaway, who is from Marietta, said. "It teaches my kids something about volunteering." 

Normally he takes a half dozen people from his office to help one day in between tournaments to move camera boxes for ESPN or to help work on the fields.

Eli Lines, 116th MXS aircraft inspector, has been helping for just as long and for the same reason. He wants to give back to the community. He is originally from Austell, Ga.

For Senior Airman William Kesler, a 402nd Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight aircraft structural maintenance journeyman, it was his first experience at the complex.

Originally from Laurinburg, North Carolina, Kesler used to coach a little league team. On July 30, he got to throw out the first pitch for the Georgia vs. Florida softball game.

Although a little worried about making it across the plate, once Kesler got onto the field, he knew he could make the play.

Other Robins team members will participate during the week to sing the national anthem, present colors and to throw out the first pitch as well as volunteer.

"It's a lot of hard work, but it makes it all worth it to see the smiles on the kids' faces," Hathaway said.