League to return strip club’s donation

The cash-strapped Lennox Little League announced Tuesday that it will return a surprise $1,200 donation from a Los Angeles strip club because of fears it would damage the reputation of the competition.

The story of the donation made headlines around the country Monday, spurring an emergency meeting of the league’s 12-member board of directors that lasted until midnight, the Daily Breeze reported.

"We kind of looked at the whole situation, and we all feel it’s the right thing to do," league president Roberto Aguirre said Tuesday.

Aguirre said he was thankful for the donation, but the league had made a big effort to improve what was once an image problem and he did not want the contribution to undo that work.

He said the Lennox Little League also oversees girls softball and, "We would never want to offend our young girls."

The Lennox Little League is located in an economically depressed area of Los Angeles, near the city’s international airport. It features about 40 teams, with more than 300 players.

Aguirre said the league had needed extra funds to combat several new regulations and fees imposed by the K-8 Lennox School District.

The school district owns the baseball diamonds in the community.

The league and the school district have been trying to work through the issues, but a dispute delayed the start of the season by three weeks.

The season usually opens in February with a ceremony that has live music and hot food, but this year it opened on Saturday with a few balloons tied to a fence.

Widespread media coverage of Lennox’s situation has spurred a number of other pledges from around the country, according to the Breeze.