Local woman opens home to Hawaiian Leaguers’ families

PHOTO PROVIDED Over 70 Little League players, families and hosts join for a prayer circle during a luau at Carol Hughes’ home in Montoursville.

Living out of a hotel can be difficult for the families of the Little Leaguers at the World Series, which is why an area woman has offered her home to some of the parents of the regional champions for 13 years.

Honolulu Little League was finishing up the regional championships in California earlier this month when the team’s parents were contacted by Carol Hughes, of Montoursville.

Hughes first hosted the parents of Little League Regional Champions in 2005 when the West Regional Champions, West Oahu Little League, contacted a friend of hers asking for a place to stay and he suggested they talk to her.

Since then, Hughes has kept close ties with her friends from Hawaii and when she learned that another team from Hawaii was going to make its way to Williamsport, she sent some text messages.

“When they won in California, I texted one of the other mothers that had been here and I said we would like to take some people if they’d like to,” Hughes said. “She texted her brother, who is the coach of their team and he texted the coach of this team. Within hours I had a call from them.”

Hughes hosted teams from Hawaii in 2008 and 2010 and the team from Emilia, Italy in 2017. For the families that stay in her home, the opportunity to be somewhere rural and enjoy the space that the home has to offer is a big plus. When the kids have been busy with practice, the parents have found the home to be the perfect place to rest and cook food without having to eat out every night.

“It’s a home away from home,” Miki De La Cruz, mother of Nainoa (John) De La Cruz, said. “We aren’t stuck in a hotel. This place has been so nourishing.”

When the players do have an opportunity to leave the complex, they have met back with their parents at the Montoursville home where Hughes has helped the families plan a fishing trip and a visit to her son-in-law’s farm. On Monday, the families held a luau in the backyard of the house and invited Little Leaguers and their families to join.

“The team came down, all the parents, family members, uncles and the regional team from California,” said Kristi Bouscher, mother of Bruce Bouscher. “There were probably 75 people here.”

Over the years, Hughes has kept a book of signatures of all the teams that have visited her home including the signatures of the first team in 2005, who went on to win the entire series.

“I just love the people,” Hughes said. “It’s a big house and my husband is gone now. It makes me really happy to have such wonderful people here.”