Current and alumni Miracle League players gathered Sunday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Miracle League Field.
By Lily Guberman
Although 2022 marks 10 years since the Miracle League of Connecticut accessible field opened, the project to build it began back in 2008.
After years of fundraising and collecting donations, the community was able to raise over $500,000 to build the barrier-free field to provide a space to play for children with disabilities. The field’s rubberized surface with painted-on pitching mounds is fully wheelchair accessible and other modifications made to the field accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment.
Mike Michaud, executive director of the Miracle League of Connecticut, said a few words about how the very beginning of the field’s founding. “They took a leap of faith with us. First is Mr. Ted Crew from Great American Donut … Ted and Rich McCarthy reached out to us three weeks after we had chartered the Miracle League and asked if anything was happening in Connecticut.”
He also thanked Marcus Apter who chose, for his Bar Mitzvah project, to sell silicon bracelets for $5 apiece to raise money for the Miracle League Field and was able to raise between $13,000 and $14,000.
Next, Mayor Shari Cantor spoke about how “one person can make a difference in so many people’s lives,” and gave a proclamation to mark the anniversary. The proclamation is as follows:
“Whereas the Miracle League of Connecticut was incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable organization in 2011 to build a fully accessible ball field for children with disabilities which would come to be known as the Miracle League Field and
Whereas the Miracle League of Connecticut has grown to about 120 players per season who play on eight different teams who come from all over the Greater Hartford Region to play on our special field and
Whereas the need to have a safe, accessible, first-class baseball field for children with disabilities, especially those with mobility challenges, could have a place to play and enjoy America’s past time ,baseball and
Whereas with the endorsement of the Town of West Hartford, Mayor and Town Council the group began to fundraise to build New England’s first Miracle League baseball field and
Whereas after raising over $500,000 the Miracle League Field and adjacent accessible playground opened to the public on June 12th, 2012 and
Whereas since the beginning of the Miracle League Field, the Miracle League of Connecticut has expanded its recreational, cultural and educational opportunities for children with disabilities and their families, they now offer adaptive dance and swim programs, a bowling league, a theater program along with many other programs and events and
Whereas Sunday, June 12, 2022 the Miracle League of Connecticut will celebrate the 10th anniversary of bringing baseball and adaptive play in general to thousands of children with disabilities and their families.
Now therefore, we proclaim that on behalf of the Town Council of West Hartford and the residents of West Hartford, I, Mayor Shari G. Cantor do hereby congratulate the Miracle League of Connecticut on your 10 year anniversary celebration and for your efforts, dedication and commitment to this initiative in West Hartford.”
The Ladd/Moran Memorial Scholarship was also presented during the ceremony to recipient Sophie Kudler, a senior at Hall High School. The $2,500 scholarship is awarded “to a graduating high school student who has shown commitment to their community through volunteer service to the special needs or disability community.”
Following the ceremony, a game between the WMGNA Wolves and the Old Timer’s Game took place where alumni of the Miracle League were able to play.
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