BRATTLEBORO -- Deb Fantini is a veteran when it comes to women’s area softball. Having played for 27 years in the Brattleboro Area Women’s Softball League (or BAWSL), she understands the effort that is required to keep not only a team going, but an entire league.
Once president of the nonprofit, Fantini now serves as BAWSL’s treasurer. She is also the star pitcher for Team Extreme.
Fantini said the annual operating budget for the season is about $23,000, most of which is eventually paid out to umpires, scorekeepers, and administrative costs.
So to raise funds for next season, players from the league will hold their third Welcome Center Fundraiser Bake Sale, this Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Northbound Interstate-91 Welcome Center, just south of Brattleboro.
"It’s a nice place to host the event," said Fantini, who added that the Center (a relatively new construction) is very inviting with its rustic charm.
The two previous events were held on a Sunday at the same location, so Fantini said she expects most of the donations will come from tourists visiting town for the weekend.
The bake sale will include traditional tasty fare like cookies, breads, brownies, and pies, but a light lunch will also be available, that includes sandwiches, sides, and refreshments. The treats are all donated and served by players of the league.
Throughout the year, the Welcome Center donates the
The league is half-sponsored by Atamanuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro, and then one other private individual provides the remainder of expenses while the nonprofit starts up its fundraising efforts.
Lisa Sylvester, the league’s president, who also plays for the C & S Rockstars, said the bake sale has turned out to be a great success.
"It is not the biggest push we do, but it certainly helps," said Sylvester, who has played with the league for eight years, and had served on its board for three.
BAWSL holds two other annual drives during the league’s co-ed tournaments, one of which was held earlier this month, while the other is coming up in September.
Sylvester said the league has went through great transformations since its inception in the early 70s. Back then, there were only four teams who would get together to play at the Christian Heritage School, directly across the street from where BAWSL now holds all their games, at Memorial Field.
Over the course of a year, from 2011-present, the league has expanded from 15, to 19 teams, said Sylvester. Games are played every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from May through mid-August.
Sylvester said this was the first year athletes were allowed to play on more than one team in an additional division. "This option was created for those who really love the game," she said.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.