MODESTO (CBS13) – When burglars broke into the coach’s home, they didn’t just steal from one family – they took money from dozens of girls who play softball.
The Modesto-based Tri-County Smash fast-pitch softball players are used to hitting home runs. And now the girls hope to knock one out of the park and raise enough cash to replace what thieves stole from the non-profit organization.
“It was devastating,” 11-year-old Andrea Duran said. “We worked hard.”
Burglars got away with about $7,000 in donations and fees, cash that was supposed to pay for uniforms and cross-country trips to national tournaments. They also stole a video camera with the only copy of a championship game in Alabama.
“They are just heartbroken because they know how much time we’ve put in this,” coach Donnie Donaldson, “and how hard we work to provide money for the kids so it’s not so expensive to the parents.”
The theft happened in broad daylight, when thieves broke into Donaldson’s family home.
“They pulled the pillowcases off the pillow,” he said. “Anything the could find and throw in the pillow cases, they grabbed.”
Family valuables were also taken along with the softball money.
The coach doubts the burglars knew they’d find a bag of money that hadn’t been deposited but says it wouldn’t have taken the bad guys long to notice the cash was for kids.
“I don’t think they have a second thought about it,” he said. “They understand what they are doing. To them it was just a big payday.”
The organization is planning several fundraisers, including a golf tournament. In the meantime, coaches are accepting donations.