The Miracle League of Northampton County has scored a major victory without a pitch being thrown yet this year.
The Forks Township Board of Supervisors has agreed to donate $10,000 -- more than three times the proposed amount -- to support the league for the construction of its field and league startup in September in Palmer Township.
Groundbreaking has happened for the baseball field at the Chrin Community Center in Palmer Township with opening day scheduled for Sept. 9.
The field is specially designed to help children and adults with disabilities play baseball.
After hearing presentations from Miracle League representatives about the league and field and David Colver, Palmer Township's Board of Supervisors chairman about supporting the project financially going forward, Township Supervisor David Billings suggested that Forks Township donate $3,000.
Meanwhile, supervisor Dan Martyak said he would head a committee to help raise funds to provide financial support for years to come.
"I think we'll make a donation tonight. We'll give $3,000," Billings said.
"I was thinking $10,000," Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss said, stating the township could dip into a $400,000 discretionary supervisors fund. "I'm looking at this as an investment. If we built our own field, $10,000 wouldn't cover anything. We need to contribute something significant."
Martyak disagreed, saying that he was "not comfortable" giving $10,000 since the township budget is running at a deficit this year and the township's public works garage is several million dollars over budget.
He got a tongue lashing from fellow Supervisor John O'Neil.
"I have concerns too, but anyone who would not support this donation I have to question their ethics for helping out underprivileged kids," O'Neil said.
Billings and Chuss assured everyone that the donation won't have an impact on taxpayers because it comes from a fund that the supervisors can use at their discretion that's already accounted for.
"It's an emotional issue," Colver said. "This is an awesome experience."
Miracle League fields have rubberized surfaces to help prevent injuries and eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound, equipment-assisted or visually impaired players.
"You may be preaching to the choir," Chuss said. "It's an amazing cause. We do view this as a regional facility. It's a fantastic idea."
"I'm comfortable with $10,000," he added. "Residents will benefit from this. This is a fantastic example of governments working together. It's a win-win for everyone involved. I wish we could give more."
The motion for the donation passed unanimously.