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Community supports teen who sold tamales to raise money for baseball tournaments

The community showed support for Grady Ferranti, who was selling tamales and water to raise money so he can go to two summer baseball tournaments.

LA PORTE, Texas — It was a busy weekend for 13-year-old Grady Ferranti.

The La Porte student spent it selling tamales. He's raising money to play in baseball tournaments.

After his picture went viral online, his tamale supply quickly dried up. By the time KHOU 11 News Reporter Anayeli Ruiz caught up with him, he was only selling water.

Grady is determined to get what he needs to go play in the tournaments with his teammates.

"My dad got laid off from his job, so it wasn’t very easy. We were struggling. And it was harder for me to stay in sports, it was a struggle," he said.

His team is heading to two tournaments over the summer: one in Dallas and the other in College Station. It's an experience he doesn't want to miss.

"It made me feel kind of sad but I still had a little bit of faith," he said.

His father knew they would have to get creative to raise the money for the trips.

"It was just on a whim. I thought ... we can make tamales (and) he can walk around the neighborhood to sell them. We can raise a couple hundred bucks. He one-upped me and wanted to sell waters as well," John Ferranti said.

On Saturday, after they made dozens of tamales, Grady went to the intersection of Spencer Highway and Underwood Road in La Porte to start selling. That's when the viral picture was taken.

"He’s very appreciative and some of the people noticed that and it took off on local Facebook group and virtually went viral," John said.

Sold out of tamales, Grady returned on Sunday to sell waters. People kept coming by to show support and love.

"You are doing a really good job. You are going places," one customer said.

His teacher even showed up to help his cause.

Grady's family said every dollar the community contributed this weekend will be used to get the teen on the field this summer. It's an amazing lesson of kindness and hard work.

"It feels good ... knowing they have my back. It’s a great feeling," Grady said of the showing.

His efforts earned him enough money to get to both tournaments. He also will be able to afford some new baseball gear.

Anayeli Ruiz on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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