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McCarren Park Lights Restored Just in Time for Kickball Marathon

By Meredith Hoffman | August 23, 2012 6:54am

WILLIAMSBURG — Let there be light!

Kickball players say they were left in the dark at McCarren Park for six weeks this summer until a last-minute reprieve brought the playfields' lights back in time for a marathon fundraising tournament, frustrated players said.

The Brooklyn Kickball League's 29-team recreational league — which is holding its annual "Buy-a-Run" charity event this Sunday for the Food Bank at Greenpoint Reformed Church — was forced to play for six weeks this summer without overhead lights, the group's founder Kevin Daily said.

"We didn't have lights for over a month, and keeping the league going was a bit of a hassle," Daily said, noting that the Parks Department finally restored the lights two weeks ago. "It's nice to have things back to normal."

Daily said the Parks worker he dealt with in the permits department "bent over backwards" to help rearrange the league's schedule so they could continue to play this summer.

"He was very accommodating," Daily said. "He saved our season."

The Parks Department did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

The league, which usually plays in McCarren Park from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, was forced to switch its schedule and to split games between McCarren and nearby Sternberg Park, which hurt morale, Daily said.

"It would have affected this weekend," he said, adding that the 11-hour charity tournament runs until 11 p.m. "We would have still had the tournament, but we wouldn't have been able to have it

Since the illumination has returned to the field, Daily hopes the fundraising extravaganza — in which people can "purchase runs" for $10 to change the scores of kickball games — will make more money than ever for the local church's secular food pantry.

"We're shooting for $10,000," Daily said, adding that each team plays two games and that "anyone can buy a run at any time."

"Teams get into it, they get into these bidding wars ... and people go interfere with other teams' games than their own," he said of the champion-less game, which raised $6,000 last year. "The winner is the Food Bank."

The Buy-a-Run Charity Event is Sunday, Aug. 26, from noon to 11 p.m. at McCarren Park.