Pubdate:  Wed, 2 Sept 1998
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Author: Robert Mccoppin
Section: Front Page


Neither Side Wanted It To Come To This.

When a 14-year-old girl refused to wear the name of her Lemont Little
League sponsor on her shirt because it was a bar, both she and the
bar's owners hoped it could be worked out.

But since the league kept Krystle Newquist from playing because of her
stance, she is now taking her battle to Springfield.

Krystle, with Naperville attorney Kathleen Zellner, proposed Tuesday
that a state law prohibit minors from advertising for establishments
that "present or advertise themselves first and foremost as bars,
taverns, lounges, pubs, or liquor stores."

"In essence, children should not advertise for establishments where
the children themselves cannot legally enter and purchase the
establishment's main product," Zellner stated in the proposal.

Krystle had played for the same team last year, when it was also
sponsored by The Carousel, a lounge and liquor store in Lemont.

But when she found out this year that her grandfather had died of
cirrhosis of the liver, Krystle felt she could no longer advertise for
a bar.

After she got her uniform in May, she asked league officials to change
teams, but they said it was too late.

When she went to opening day with duct tape over the sponsor's name,
she said, she was told to wear the shirt inside out or stay off the
field, because league rules require all players to wear the same uniform.

She ended up playing for another league, until a broken ankle ended
her season.

The Carousel, meanwhile, dropped its $500 sponsorship of the team,
fearing a lawsuit after an attorney began representing the girl's family.

Both parties said they had nothing against each other, but that the
league had decided the matter. League officials could not be reached
for comment

Krystle, an athletic high school freshman who is out of her leg cast
but still wearing braces, joked about the controversy, but said she
had to stand by her principles.

"Possessions in life will leave you," she said, "but your beliefs you
will have with you until you die."

She said she was driven to her stance primarily by her education in
public schools, where programs warn about drugs and alcohol.

The Carousel manager Tim O'Brian said the bar transferred its
sponsorship money to a local food pantry after 25 years with Little
League. The bar also sponsors softball teams and Pop Warner youth football.

"We didn't do it to get advertising," he said. "Nobody gets business
out of being on a jersey. We just did it to help the community. It's a
shame for the girl; it's a shame for us."

Elsewhere, youth baseball officials said they rarely run into the
issue, because rarely do bars sponsor Little League teams.

Carol Stream youth baseball officials said the issue should have been
worked out long ago between the girl and the sponsor.

In the Naperville Park District, Program Manager Gary Foiles said
officials have had similar concerns, and discussed how to handle ads
for alcohol and tobacco.

The trouble with a prohibition, he said, comes in making distinctions
between restaurants that serve alcohol, and bars that serve food.

"Where do you draw the line?" he asked. "It becomes fuzzier than you
might think."

Zellner said she has talked to a state senator and a representative
about sponsoring a bill, but added such legislation could face
opposition from the liquor lobby in Springfield.

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Checked-by: Patrick Henry