Ball Field for Children with Disabilities will be Constructed - Children with disabilities will soon have the opportunity to play baseball just like every other child in the Big Bend area, thanks to collaboration between the County and City governments and local agencies. With significant contributions, including $75,000 from Leon County, the use of Messer North Softball Complex from the City of Tallahassee, and fundraising efforts by Kiwanis Club, a Miracle League field will soon become a reality in Leon County. City of Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, Leon County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed DePuy, and other officials attended the kickoff ceremony May 30 for the Miracle League Field, located at Messer Field, 2730 Jackson Bluff Road.
This field will be constructed with rubber for ease-of-use by wheelchairs. Even the bases and pitching mound are level with the field, so children in wheelchairs will have free reign of the entire field. In addition, the Miracle League has rules that are a bit different than the conventional ones. Each player gets to bat every inning, and all players are safe and get to score a run before the inning is over. Each team always wins.
The project was initiated when David Jones, President of Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, went to the grand opening of the Miracle League field in St. Petersburg in the spring of 2006. "I had read about Miracle League before, but you can not grasp how much it will touch your heart until you see it. I decided immediately that we needed to have a Miracle League Field in Tallahassee," stated Jones. At once, he met with Eddie Lee of the St. Petersburg Miracle League to determine how to get started.
Kiwanis has willingly taken on the role of coordination and fundraising. Kiwanis has been integral to the project management and success of the Miracle League Field. Division 3 Kiwanis has already raised more than $20,000 and has committed to assist in raising the $200,000 projected cost necessary.
Other community partners include the Genesis Group, which has committed in-kind engineering and architectural services, and Gene Strickland, who is overseeing the construction process. An in-kind donation of construction services is currently the primary need in addition to financial resources.
For more information on the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association or the Miracle League field, please contact the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA) Laurie LoRe-Gussak at (850) 201-2944 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fdoa.org.Contact