SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Thousands of teams compete each year to try to make it to the Little League World Series. Only 16 teams actually get to come to South Williamsport. Behind all of those hard-working kids are parents who do whatever they can to make sure their children are living their dreams.
The young athletes on those 16 teams have family members who made the trip with them. Many sacrifice vacations and miss work to come to South Williamsport. But every parent we spoke with today says it was all worth it.
The teams are used to cheering crowds, but perhaps the loudest cheers of all come from their families.
“It’s wonderful. They’re living their dream,” Laura Luna said.
The Southwest team from Corpus Christi, Texas played an exhibition game against Canada. The team from Texas found out about two weeks ago that they had earned a spot in the Little League World Series. Parents only had a few days to prepare for the trip.
“We had to pay our tickets, rent cars, find a place to stay,” Nelly Jasso said.
All of those expenses meant a lot of last-minute fundraising.
“It was more expensive than we thought, but we made it,” Moses Leyba said.
Most of the parents are missing work, and some of the kids are missing school.
“I had to take eight days off of work. I work for the school district, so all my days are done. So i can’t get sick at all, the rest of the year,” Luna said.
Talk about sacrifice–the families from Australia came halfway around the world to be here. The total travel time was about 36 hours.
“Perth to Melbourne. Melbourne to LA. LA to New York. New York to Philly and then we drove down,” Kim Houston said.
Most of the parents from Australia made the trip to South Williamsport, but Kim Houston says it cost more than $5,000 each.
“Oh every cent was worth it. I can honestly say that,” Houston said.
“It’s definitely worth it to see your kid playing out here in the spotlight. Getting interviewed every minute of the day, signing autographs, taking pictures,” Jasso said.