Starting this baseball season, the Vilonia Diamond Dolls/Dude will hit the field.
Much like collegiate programs under the Diamond Dolls name, the Vilonia version will take care of gameday experiences.
“Vilonia Diamond Dolls/Dude is an after school volunteer program that works alongside the Vilonia Baseball Booster Club to assist in keeping score, music, admissions gate, concessions, retrieval of foul balls, keeping spectators area clean, caring for our two Diamond Dogs (Stella and River Dale) and making sure that everyone who visits the Vilonia Eagle Baseball Field has a great experience,” program creator Tara Gunter said.
Gunter said she’s had the idea to start the program for a couple years, but it is now coming into fruition.
“The parents generally work all of what goes on, but I thought we could do Diamond Dolls like the colleges do and help out,” she said.
Gunter said the program will help the volunteers, from grades ninth through 12th, get college service hours.
Not only will the Diamond Dolls/Dude help out at baseball games, but they will go out into the community and serve.
“As much as we eat, sleep and breathe Vilonia baseball, there is more to this program,” Gunter said. “We will also be volunteering in Vilonia and the surrounding communities by helping people at the grocery store with their groceries, packing food boxes at the Soul Food Mission Cafe, visiting nursing homes and assisting with Special Olympics.”
Diamond Dolls typically are associated with colleges, but the Log Cabin couldn’t find any other high schools in Arkansas that have a high school Diamond Dolls program.
Gunter said that while the program will mirror what the colleges do, it will be a “watered down version” where they won’t do dancing or cheers.
The Diamond Dolls/Dude will have their first chance to serve at the Eagles’ first game at 4 p.m. March 3.
“This is Vilonia Eagles Opening Day,” Gunter said. “This will be Vilonia Eagle baseball teams Suicide Prevention and Awareness night. A portion of all proceeds raised at this game will be donated to the Arkansas Chapter for Suicide Prevention, AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). So come on out to the Vilonia Eagle Baseball Field, where you can meet the very first Vilonia Diamond Dolls/Dude and Diamond Dogs, watch some Amazing Vilonia Eagle Baseball and help us support a great cause.”
In its first iteration, 15 girls and one boy have signed up to volunteer at the games.
The Vilonia Diamond Dolls consist of: seniors Emma Eastham, Hannah Fisher, Audrey Loyd, Taylor Mahan, Jacob Nowlin, Lydia Outlaw, Emily Standridge and Faith Ventura; juniors Jaden Fraser, Brooke McMillin, Hannay Neely, Brooklyn Powell and Summer Smith; sophomores Kylee Duvall and Macee Gibbs; and freshman Ashley Schultz.
Gunter is the Diamond Sponsor, while Ashlyn Koonce is the Diamond Assistant Sponsor.