FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- Two weeks ago, a softball team almost had their World Series dreams dashed when someone stole $1,000-worth of fireworks from their stand, but Thursday (July 16), Venom Fastpitch was on their way to the tournament in Orlando, Florida.
"We thought we were done for when everything happened with the fireworks stand and were just heartbroken for the girls if nothing else and it really turned out to be something incredible," softball mom Shelly Emmert said.
She said after word got out about the burglary, the community stepped in. The team posted on their GoFundMe page that they needed $6,500. They had $6,700 in donations in less than a month.
"A lot of these girls come from home situations that they've really had to struggle their whole entire lives and this trip is huge for them, a lot of them haven't been out of the state of Arkansas, so heading to Florida to the World Series is really a dream come true for them," Emmert said.
The coaches said Venom is ranked #1 in the state of Missouri, and #19 in the nation. Leslie Yousey is a player on the 14 and under team and said her favorite part of the tournament is spending time with her teammates.
"It means everything, this is my team, my family," Yousey said. "I love playing with these girls and I'm excited to see how well we come together as a team and how far we can get."
Mom and coach Bobbie Wolf said she was amazed how quickly they were able to plan their trip once they had the funds. She said the van the team is traveling in was donated by a local Chevy dealership.
"It's awesome, especially in this short amount of time, because we didn't think we were going to go, we've had to cram in really less than a week," Wolf said.
The girls said win or lose, what really matters is their love for the game and each other.
"To play our hearts out ya know, that's what matters, it doesn't matter if we win or lose just being there trying our hardest, and never getting knocked down," Emily Emmert said.
The World Series starts July 18.