ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Rowan County All-Stars, Little League Softball World Series Champions, visited the White House to meet President Donald Trump.
The team left for Washington D.C. from the Statesville Regional Airport on Friday morning, Oct. 11, on a charter plane donated by Victory Air. They had a full day of sightseeing that includes an exclusive visit to the Oval Office.
After the Rowan County team won the championship in August, their U.S. Representatives helped secure an invitation from the White House. The next hurdle was to find a way to get there and Bob Thompson with Victory Air was able to make those arrangements.
“That’s just the kind of corporate citizen they are,” said John Ferguson, Statesville Regional Airport Manager, about Victory Air. “We are fortunate to have them in our community.”
Ferguson is also excited and honored to have the softball champions at the airport. “I know it’s early in the day, but we invite everyone to come out and wish the team well as they take off on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.”
The plane left Statesville Friday at 7:15 a.m., and is scheduled to return around 10:30 p.m. Statesville Regional Airport is located in southwest Statesville on 238 Airport Rd.
For more information about the flight, contact Ferguson at 704-873-1111.
The first stop for the group was the office of US Representative Richard Hudson (R-08). Hudson was one of the local representatives who urged President Trump to invite the girls to the White House. Rep. Ted Budd (R-13) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) were also instrumental in that effort.
Appropriately, Coach Yang sat behind Hudson’s desk as the girls gathered for a group picture.
“That’s something we’ve never experienced before as a family, this is a memory we will cherish for a lifetime," Yang said.
The girls said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“It means a lot to us, it means so much to get invited by the president," said Ashley Yang.
“It’s really an a honor to know that everyone recognizes us, know what we went through and accomplished," added Campbell Schaen
For Kynlee Dextraze and Lexi Ritchie, it was also a business opportunity.
“We have a business, bracelet company called Lex and Dex, and we made him a bracelet and gave it to him, he thought it was really cool, said thank you and everything," Ritchie said.
The initiative belonged to Coach Steve Yang. When Yang learned that the boys Little League World Champs were going to the White House he put out a tweet that quickly went viral saying that the girls should also be recognized.
The Oval Office visit was only one stop during the day. The team, families, and local officials including Rowan County Commissioners Greg Edds and Jim Greene, and Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins and City Councilman Brian Miller, toured the White House and the Supreme Court.