In 2008, it was only an idea. Seven years later, League of Miracles started its third season in Morgan County, giving local area children with emotional and physical disabilities a place to play sports on a specialized field.
On June 6, League of Miracles kicked off the season with the ribbon cutting for its new concession, restroom and indoor activity facility at the diamond. Following the dedication, an athlete sang the National Anthem and teams, wearing their uniform jerseys, went to their respective dugouts to play ball. The crowd cheered, balls were hit, runs were scored and everyone smiled.
Ryan Goodwin and Brian Wiser, president and executive director respectively of the organization, said League of Miracles wouldn't have been able to accomplish what it has without support from the community, the Kendrick Foundation and the Community Foundation of Morgan County.
“We had a [$100,000] matching grant from the Kendrick Foundation that helped build the building behind us,” Wiser said, gesturing to the newly dedicated facility. “It was the single biggest thing that helped in getting this building done.”
Earlier in April, some vandals caused damages to the new building and caused unexpected costs in damages. The community stepped in and helped repair and finish the building for opening day.
Beyond financial donations, the local businesses and groups have donated their time to be buddies with the athletes. Wiser said the volunteerism is a huge help to the organization and it shows the community's support of the League.
“It was definitely a county wide effort, and we want to take it beyond that now and continue to attract families from across the region,” Goodwin said. “It was the first field of its kind in the state of Indiana, and we have something for Morgan County to be proud of, and we want to share that with the rest of the region.”
Goodwin said the idea is to expand the sports offered as well as opening the field to more groups in the community, so they can “benefit from it as well.”
“By design, it is a baseball field, but we can certainly play other activities like basketball, soccer,” Goodwin said. “We looked at being able to offer miniature golf.”