Southwest Michigan Miracle League to Break Ground on Baseball Field for Kids with Disabilities
SCHOOLCRAFT, Michigan, May 14, 2020 – Local nonprofit Southwest Michigan Miracle League announced today that it will break ground on a special baseball field to help area kids with disabilities enjoy America’s favorite pastime.
The Southwest Michigan Miracle League (SMML) has been working to raise funds to build a custom-designed baseball field in southwest Michigan for kids with physical, visual and other disabilities. The groundbreaking will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. at the new Miracle Field location near The Dome Sports Center at 12733 US-131 in Schoolcraft.
Jud Hoff, President of SMML, said the groundbreaking is a major step toward bringing the dream of the Miracle League to southwest Michigan. “The Miracle League provides opportunities for kids, regardless of their abilities, to experience the joy of being on a team,” said Hoff. “Every kid deserves the chance to play baseball, and this field will give them the opportunity to take a break from their everyday challenges and barriers, allowing them to relax, have fun and be a kid.”
The Southwest Michigan Miracle League reached its target to break ground on the new field but still has ground to cover to reach the $1.1 million fundraising goal. “We are so grateful for the foundations, organizations and individual donors who have helped us raise about $750,000, which is enough to get moving on building the Miracle Field, dugouts and parking lot. We still need to raise additional funds so we can complete the bathrooms, concession area and other elements of the field.”
A Miracle League Field is a custom-designed baseball field with a cushioned, rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair-accessible dugouts, and a flat playing surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchairs or visually impaired players. Community volunteers called “buddies” work with each Miracle League player, helping them enjoy the game and allowing players’ families to watch their kid play and cheer from the stands.
The Miracle League will be open to players throughout southwest Michigan, and the SMML hopes to begin playing games in late summer or early fall this year, depending on the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our first priority is the health and safety of the Miracle League players, who are some of the most vulnerable in our community,” Hoff stated. “We want to get moving on building the Miracle Field so we’re able to play as soon as it’s safe.”