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Donations pouring in to Petaluma National Little League family fund

Support for the families of Petaluma National Little League all stars continues to roll in, including several four-digit donations and a biggie – $15,000 – pledged Wednesday by Comcast SportsNet, the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants.

The families of Petaluma's 13 boys playing today in the 66th Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., were daunted by the significant expenses for flying to the East Coast and staying as long as 10 days to watch their boys play out their baseball dreams.

Some families wondered if they could swing the trip financially, given other commitments and complications with their jobs back home.

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But the response from Sonoma County and beyond has been quick and generous.

The community has stepped up to bat, holding bake sales, T-shirt sales, restaurant fund-raisers and a benefit showing of the boys' first game today at noon at Boulevard Cinema for a $15 donation.

Petaluma National Little League board members set a goal of $60,000 to help the families defray the costs. Donations haven't been tallied yet, board members said, but with the pledges made public so far, it appears they are nearly halfway there.

"Awesome. That is great news!" said Wayne Douglas, who with his wife, Laura, was boarding a flight Wednesday to see their son, Logan, play. "That is huge."

Locals put the word out, asking their friends and associates for donations. Petaluma native and A's player Jonny Gomes offered his help and asked Major League Baseball to pitch in too.

On Wednesday, the A's, the Giants and Comcast SportsNet, which broadcasts Bay Area cable TV, announced they had combined for a $15,000 donation to the family fund.

The Douglases have three other boys who are about to start school. With the financial uncertainties of the trip, they decided to have Logan's brothers stay home.

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