SANTA TERESA BUSINESS TO DONATE BASEBALL EQUIPMENT

SANTA TERESA BUSINESS TO DONATE BASEBALL EQUIPMENT

A Santa Teresa couple will donate $1,000 worth of baseball equipment on Thursday to a La Union youth baseball team, another milestone of the efforts of two very dedicated Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department deputies.

Suzie Azar, a former mayor of the City of El Paso, and her husband, Richard, 5t6 Resources fixed-base operators and owners of Blue Feather Aero flight in Santa Teresa, will present the equipment to the La Union Dawgs at the Doña Ana County Airport in Santa Teresa at 3 p.m. The equipment includes five bats, 10 helmets, 20 gloves, 23 baseballs, two full sets of catcher's equipment and one batting stand.

"We're happy to be involved with the kids in our communities," Richard said. "The airport is a great economic generator, and we want everyone to know that we're down here doing business and trying to give back to area residents."

Richard said Sheriff Juan Hernandez told him about two deputies in La Union who have devoted much of their free time in the last year to building a baseball field. "The team had a field, but what it needed was equipment, and that's where we came in," Richard said.

Deputies Julio Ledezma and Ray Hernandez, of the department's Community Policing Division, have worked on a baseball field in La Union since last January, installing a sprinkler system, planting grass renovating dugouts and planting turf on a running path. The two have also kept up all the maintenance of the field since its completion.

"Most of the materials we've put into getting the field up to playing standards has come from donations by La Union and Anthony businesses," Ledezma said, "but some of it has been out-of-pocket. The time and work that Ray and I have put in are all voluntary."

The deputies will also be coaching the Dawgs, made up of seven- and eight-year-olds playing in the Anthony Baseball Youth League this season.

For more information, call Grant A. Taylor, assistant to the director of public information, at (505) 647-7290. Anyone calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7290.