FAIR OAKS, Calif. — The Fair Oaks Dolphins are wrapping up their first full season back in action since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but the swim team is feeling a major blow after the trailer that housed all of their equipment was stolen on Wednesday.
"We found the trailer a day later under a freeway overpass in Rio Linda stripped for parts," said Assistant Coach Dominic DelliQuadri. "The wiring was exposed. Most of the equipment inside was either damaged beyond repair or missing."
The trailer is now deemed a total loss. Items that were stolen or destroyed include pop-up tents, audio equipment, flags, and poles — costing around $30,000 to replace.
"We need that (equipment) to make these meets happen — so once I heard that, I was like 'Oh, what are we gonna do?,'" said Fair Oaks Dolphins swimmer Violet Soltesz.
Parents and coaches spoke to ABC10 about the hard work and dedication of the athletes along with their resiliency in the face of difficult circumstances.
"The kids work like crazy. They are here early in the morning, they'll stay late into the afternoon, sometimes into the evening," said team volunteer and parent Phil Soltesz. "We're a non-profit team. We're not in it for the money. We're trying to give these kids a great experience and those things that were stolen from us are critical to that."
The team is now asking for the community to step in and help them recover from their loss before the next season begins.
"These are really good kids. They work really hard and we'd love to be able to have everything we need to give them a season next year," said DelliQuadri.
A GoFundMe page to help the team can be found here.