DE SMET, S.D. (KELO) — On May 12th, an EF-2 tornado passed through the town of Castlewood, causing severe damage to nearly the entire community. Nearly three weeks later, the community would see a sign of support, thanks to the hard work of the De Smet little league baseball teams.
The destruction left behind from the May 12 tornado in Castlewood caught the attention of several surrounding communities.
“You start looking at social media and things. We saw that drone footage of the school and things and our hearts went out to them,” De Smet 12-U coach Jim Millman said.
The De Smet little league plays Castlewood several times a summer and they knew they needed to find a way to help.
“I called the coaches one-by-one and I told them my idea and right away the coaches jumped on with the idea. I told them, ‘It’s all or none; everybody has to be on the bus for this.’ Then the boys and coaches rolled their sleeves up and they made it happen. I’m just so proud of them,” De Smet coach Wes Clubb said.
“We wanted it to be significant and something that could help them out, but we also knew that it was short notice. The kids did a really nice job and the community of De Smet really stepped up too,” Clubb continued.
Four teams in De Smet, ranging from ages 6-12, went out into the community to raise money. After all was said and done, they raised more than $2,400.
That money was presented to Castlewood when the two teams met on May 31.
“They went out there and went door-to-door and told their story and what they’re doing it for. People just poured their hearts out,” Clubb said.
“I saw a couple tears come from some parents on the other team and it was so cool to bless some peoples hearts,” De Smet 12-U player Grayson Millman said.
“They were just feeling happy when Jim told them how much we raised. It must’ve made them happy and I felt good,” De Smet 10-U & 12-U player Nash Clubb said.
An act of kindness shown by small town South Dakota.
“Other times we’ve had storms around here. Your neighbor has a tree down; you just grab your chain saw and go. This was kind of the same thing for us. We had to decide what we were going to do. Wes came up with a really great idea and we did it,” Millman said.
“There’s a lot of other stuff going on in the country and the world. We just need to take some time in our busy lives, to just take care of one another and spread kindness. That’s all that matters,” Clubb said.
The De Smet little league players had just two weeks to raise the money. All of the funds were donated to the Castlewood Relief Fund.