Mary Camarillo had a long list of things to do before leaving this morning to join her son Eric in Pennsylvania with 11 other Ahwatukee Little Leaguers.
Unpack the suitcase. Do a few loads of laundry. Pay bills. Repack the suitcase.
Camarillo and other parents from the team have been scrambling to get hotels and flights in order to make it to
the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. since the team won the Western Regional tournament on Saturday. Opening ceremonies begin Thursday.
“It’s a lot to do, but it’s all worth it,” Camarillo said Monday night as she drove into Phoenix from California.
Camarillo spent the week with the group of 11- to-13-year-olds in California during the regional tournament and said she had to head back to Ahwatukee Foothills briefly to get her daughter back to school and get things together for another week of traveling.
“I knew we had a good team, but I never imagined we’d get this far,” she said.
Parag Modi said the experience has been “terrific,” but winning the game over the weekend created a challenge.
“The logistics become a nightmare when you only have two days to prepare,” said Modi, whose 12-year-old son Ryan is on the team.
The whirlwind actually began in mid-June when the boys were selected for the allstar team.
Since then, it’s been nothing but playing ball and traveling.
Michelle Knox, whose 12-year-old son, Chase, just started playing baseball this year, said each family will spend about $8,000 by the end of the season to cover meals, transportation and hotel costs.
“Everyone is excited . . . there is no ‘Oh no, what are we going to do?’ “ about fundraising, Knox said.
Businesses have pitched in and professional athletes have donated signed items for raffles to take care of the costs.
Neighbors have dropped by, offering to watch pets and homes while the families are away. Teachers have faxed homework to parents so the players don’t get too far behind.
Knox said she’s been amazed at the outpouring of support from everyone.
“What a great ride to be on,” she said. “Every day something gets better.”
Donations can be made to the Ahwatukee Little League at any Chase Bank — account number 233-699-5614.