Volunteers help clean Coventry softball fields targeted by vandals on Halloween

West Bay

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Volunteers gathered Thursday evening to clean up the mess left behind by vandals who targeted the Coventry Girls Softball League’s fields and concession stand Halloween night.

Ashley Reyes, vice president of the CGSL Board of Directors, said the vandals broke into the concession stand, damaged their equipment shed and destroyed their only working lawnmower, which was found abandoned in the nearby woods.

“It helps maintain the field,” Reyes said of the lawnmower. “It was ripped apart, you could tell they were definitely riding it through the fields. There were track marks everywhere and they went into one of our fences with it.”

Reyes said the Phillips Hill Complex is maintained solely by volunteers, all of whom are frustrated by the situation.

“Why would someone come here and trash the field that these young girls call home?” CGSL coach Jodi-Lyn Wheeler said.

With this weekend’s tournament fast approaching, Reyes said volunteers worked through the evening to repair some of the damage and ensure the fields are playable.

“We needed to make it safe,” she said. “We picked up glass and boarded up some windows … raked the field so there are no divots.”

Reyes said CGSL has raised more than $10,000 through a GoFundMe page, which will not only replace and repair everything the vandals damaged, but also allow them to purchase and install a security system to prevent it from happening again.

Initially, CGSL was worried the costs to repair the damage would force them to postpone construction on a fourth field at the Phillips Hill Complex. But thanks to the outpouring of community support, Reyes expects that will continue as planned.

Police said they’re aware of the vandalism and are investigating the incident.

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