The Miracle League of Northampton County is hoping to garner enough funds to make the dream of a baseball field for children with disabilities a reality.
The land in Palmer Township has been secured with a lease arrangement, the project is well under way and the design plans are complete -- compliments of Finelli Engineering. And the Miracle League board is kicking off its capital campaign this week to raise approximately $750,000 to construct and operate the new facility. The hope is to have the ball field up and running in 2012.
To promote the program, board members have some help. First there is Ric Agretto, Director of Special Education for the Bethlehem School District and 30-year volunteer for the Special Olympics of Northampton County. And then there is Lehigh Valley native Brian Schneider, a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and honorary chairman of the group. They will help promote the program by reaching out to parents and teachers who deal with children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
“Throughout these counties, there are many baseball fields for children who do not have disabilities,” said Palmer Township Supervisor Robert Lammi. “But there is no field for children who have physical or intellectual disabilities. This new facility will provide such an opportunity.”
The closest Miracle League field is in Lehigh County. Once completed, the Northampton County field will be on Green Pond Road on a parcel next to the Charles Chrin Community Center and will serve children from Northampton, Monroe and Warren counties and the Upper Bucks area.
“We chose this location because of its accessibility to Route 22,” said Lammi, Director of Development for the Business, Industrial and Professional Association of Palmer Township. “It’s easy to get to and there are lots of existing facilities already in place. The field is located near other children playing sports, so the children won’t feel isolated.”
Lammi considers it crucial to the success of the program that children with disabilities feel part of on-going sports being played around them. He expects “angels in the outfield or buddies” to develop among kids in the groups playing nearby.
For more information on how to donate, log on to www.MiracleLeagueOfNC.org.