SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As Little League World Series is slowly winding down; one program allows volunteers to help out with teams during their stay in Williamsport. But this year, COVID restrictions have changed their plans.
In a typical year, Aunts and Uncle’s work directly with the little league teams but this year is different. Two volunteers tell Eyewitness News that this has become something they look forward to every year.
From the time they get off until the time they leave, we’re their kind of parents for the whole time they’re here,” said President of Lycoming County United Way Ron Frick.
But that’s not the case this year, volunteers in the little league’s Aunt and Uncle’s program are assigned different tasks to limit their contact with teams and coaches.
“I might today be responsible for having kids coming in and out of the dining hall and come in for COVID testing and those kinds of things. I might be responsible for tomorrow for you know getting kids to practice or to the batting cages,” said Frick.
“You’re assigned games. So, when you’re assigned a game you take that team, but you’re only with that team for that 3 to 4 hour time period,” explained Lycoming County Commissioner Scott Metzger.
Ron Frick and Scott Metzger both have been volunteering for over a decade and miss building connections with teams and managers.
“The players come back as adults and they’re looking for their uncles. I’m still friends with the coach from the 2015 Texas team,” said Metzger.
Even though it’s a different experience, they’re still happy the players get to do what they love: play ball.
“It’s about the kids making those memories, having those lifetime special moments,” said Metzger.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of kids and a lot of families so we do everything we can to make sure that it’s a great one,” said Frick.
Both Uncles are enjoying these last few days of the tournament and hope next year will be a little closer to normal.