Shaler Area Little League’s new president has big plans for future
Thursday, December 26, 2019 | 12:01 AM
Even though it’s the winter, new Shaler Area Little League (SALL) President Dave Hymowitz is thinking of ways to improve the nonprofit softball and baseball organization in 2020.
“I want to make our baseball, softball product better and make our community better in the process, so we’re offering a lot of cool stuff this year,” Hymowitz, 40, of Allison Park, said.
He ran uncontested for a term that started Nov. 1.
Under Hymowitz’s leadership, SALL members who register for the spring 2020 season will receive access to winter conditioning programs and open gym time.
Similarly, new coaches may participate in winter training, where seasoned coaches prepare the novices for the upcoming season.
The organization’s calendar will run for 10 months, with spring in-house ball, summer tournament ball and a fall learning program.
“Kids love baseball and want to play all the time, so they leave and want to play travel baseball. So, we want to give those kids opportunities to work 10 months out of the year and if they want to throw, we want to offer that.”
SALL aims to grow its membership from 350 players, ages 4 through 18, to 400, Hymowitz said. Players must reside within the Shaler Area School District.
New this year, the nonprofit is offering an equipment exchange program where players may bring their gently used equipment to in-person spring registration and SALL officials will give the items to deserving players. Additionally, the organization is providing tuition reimbursement for five players in need. Those interested in applying, should visit http://www.shalerareall.com/about-sall/board-members/ and contact a staff member.
SALL is concentrating on large fundraising events, Hymowitz said, rather than smaller door-to-door sales. A Monte Carlo Night is slated for March 17 and the 10th annual golf outing is planned for May 9 at Butler’s LakeVue North Gold Course. The league has used funds for equipment upgrades and the replacement of a batting cage on Burchfield Primary School’s property, installation of new batting cages, fences and turf at the eight other fields it maintains.
“We want to create value for the families that are part of our organization and the people that are donating to our organization. But I believe it’s positive, and we want to do as much as we possibly can to make our community better.”
Originally from western Ohio, Hymowitz moved to Shaler Area seven years ago with his wife, Rachel, and his daughters, Aurora, and Alivia.
“We are baseball people, coming from that part of Ohio. We are lifelong (Cincinnati) Reds fans. … We were always out on the field playing ball and so there’s a level of that that I want my kids to have. … . So, I wanted to give that opportunity to my kids.”
Five years ago, Aurora and Alivia started playing softball for SALL. While other community softball and baseball organizations existed, Hymowitz and his wife chose SALL due to its Little League International charter.
Through coaching T-ball and attending his daughters’ softball games, Hymowitz gained local friends and formed community ties, he said. He went on to serve as the softball commissioner.
“I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of the giants of all people that came before us,” he said of his current position.
“Dave has a passion for baseball and working with the kids,” Pat Murray, SALL vice president said. “As some of the people who have been on board for multiple years now and have done great things to help the organization have kids starting to age out of the organization, I think people are excited to have someone like Dave from the younger kids stepping in to continue making this community organization better.”