The eight-year-old rubber field the Miracle League uses is breaking down, and in need of replacement. The LeeAnna Grace Cunningham Field at Sokol Park North has deeply worn spots which make it difficult for players who use wheelchairs and walkers to get around it. In some areas, the field has deteriorated all the way down to the asphalt.
Replacing the aging field, which opened in 2010, are going to be costly.
“The field is constructed of a specialized rubber surface made from recycled materials. The recycled rubber pieces have a unique color scheme that gives the appearance of a real baseball field,” said Kathryn Taylor, who runs communications for Miracle League of Tuscaloosa. “Over the years, repairs have been made, and now the surface has outlived its repair potential.”
The organization has been actively saving money for anticipated repairs or replacement for years. Replacing the surface will cost an estimated $97,000. Now, things have reached critical mass. If the new field isn’t put down in coming months, the spring season is in jeopardy.
A GoFundMe account has been created in hopes of raising $20,000 toward the project.
“We’ve raised some of the funds through GoFundMe and private donations, however, we have still not reached our goal. In addition to GoFundMe, there are sponsorship opportunities.”
Miracle League officials are hoping that the community will get involved and help them raise the money needed to replace the field’s surface and keep Tuscaloosa’s Miracle League teams playing for years to come.
John Miller is one of the founders of Miracle League of Tuscaloosa. He says the Miracle League helps kids with special needs with motivation, and provides a positive influence.
“Children with special needs already have tons of obstacles, but for one hour on Saturdays in the spring, they don’t have to worry. They get to participate in America’s favorite pastime of baseball just as their peers do,” Miller said. “Also, their parents get a break to just enjoy watching their child have fun.”
How You Can Help the Miracle League of Tuscaloosa
- Visit miracleleagueoftuscaloosa.com
- Click "Donate"
- Donate via the GoFundMe page or via PayPal (links are provided on the website)