Last week an empty field in Summerdale was filled with volunteers, supporters, donors and future athletes as the Miracle League of Coastal Alabama broke ground on its stadium complex, a dream 15 years in the making.
Hurricanes and oil spills may have slowed the pace of the project but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of those who worked tirelessly to bring the park to life.
Miracle League of Coastal Alabama President Bruce White Jr. first thanked members of the committee.
“None of them are retired, this is an extremely time consuming project, it cuts into work and family time,” he told the crowd. “All of them are working to get this park built and I want to thank each and every one of them for all they do and their unwavering dedication.”
White was inspired to build the park 15 years ago for Baldwin County’s special needs children and adults. There are roughly 240 Miracle League’s across the United States and Canada, serving more than 200,000 children and adults.
The Lions Club took on the task as a Legacy Project but damage from Hurricane Ivan and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster stopped much of the progress.
Roughly seven years ago the city of Summerdale also began planning construction of a Miracle League ballfield.
Summerdale Mayor David Wilson said the town registered with the national organization and began planning, but said, “we weren’t able to do it on our own.”
“Out of the blue I got a phone call from Bruce and now they have fulfilled a dream for Summerdale as well,” Wilson told the crowd. “We are honored to be able to use this property for this league.”
Now with almost half of the $2.5 million price tag covered with grants, monetary donations and in-kind donations, the committee has a laser sharp focus on raising the remaining money as construction crews arrive and begin work.
The project will be completed in three phases: infrastructure, an all-inclusive playground and finally the baseball field. Contractors estimate the entire complex will be completed in 18 months.