It will be called Miracle Field, appropriately so, because it will give
all children in Gloucester County a chance to play the American past-time:
"The smiles on their faces and the sense of accomplishment is priceless,"
Freeholder Director Stephen Sweeney said. "It might be raining,
but the sun is shining in my mind."
The 14,900-square-foot facility will be made of a specially designed
rubberized turf so that it is accessible to youngsters in wheelchairs.
It will be built behind the Bankbridge Elementary School, and be accessible
to any young person between the ages of 6 and 21 in Gloucester County
with special needs.
"Regardless of ability or disability, this gives everyone an opportunity
to play baseball," said Fred Keating, superintendent of the Gloucester
County Special Services School District.
Dennis McNulty, whose 18-year-old daughter Keely will be on the team,
said this will reinforce "all the good qualities that sports has
to offer." "Sports, like academics, gets these young adults
ready for life," said McNulty, a resident of Wenonah. "It
teaches them life skills just like in school. This is an additional
opportunity to come out and participate with her peers and continue
The field will cost $600,000 to construct. The county will pay about
$100,000 and the rest will come from other resources, including contributions
of $100,000 from ADS Pipe of Logan Township, and $5,000 each from the
Delaware River Port Authority and Nicolosi Caterers. The county Special
Services Education Foundation raised $107,000.
"Hopefully, in another six months, we will be out here announcing,
Play ball,'" said Freeholder Joseph Brigandi Jr.
Registration will begin shortly, said Ryan Dougherty, Miracle League
coordinator. Any child in Gloucester County with special needs will
be eligible. Dougherty said he hopes to get at least 100 kids to participate
when the field is ready this fall.