Less than a week before participating in the regional Little League softball tournament, the Russell-Flatwoods state champions are in fundraising mode.

The team needs nearly $5,000 for hotel rooms alone, according to Christie Penix, who has a daughter on the team.

Russell-Flatwoods will have games Monday through Friday at least. The tournament will be in Joplin, Mo.

“It’s a long way, and an impromptu trip, too,” Penix said. “We were hoping but we didn’t plan for it.”

Penix said the fundraising isn’t so much for the parents “to have a free ride” but to make sure the players’ accommodations are taken care of throughout the tournament.

“We’ve been soliciting donations from hometown places in Russell and Flatwoods,” Penix said. “We’ve talked about doing some car washes and things like that but it’s kind of short notice.”

Russell-Flatwoods won the state championship on its home field, which took some of the financial burden off the families, Penix said. However, the Russell-Flatwoods Little League wasn’t able to give the team any travel money.

“We want their main focus to be playing ball,” Penix said. “They need to practice and rest up for the tournament.”

Penix said she hopes the community can reach out and support the team. “They really deserve to go and not have to worry about the money,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating can call Linda Carter at (606) 923-6361.

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