Project Miracle $32K shy of goal

Published 12:03 am Friday, February 22, 2013

Fundraising for Project Miracle Team is in the homestretch; however, approximately $32,000 is needed to help the project across home plate.

Barbara Tyler, team co-chair, said Thursday approximately $534,000 of the needed $565,000 is committed to constructing a Miracle League field and playground at Johnson Park.

“We’re so close, but we still need that last bit to get the project finished,” Tyler said. “The unique thing about this project is that it not only includes a playing field, but also an all-inclusive playground.

“That playground is such a benefit to the community,” she said. “Because once it’s completed, it will mean there is a place for children, parents and grandparents in wheelchairs can enjoy time with their loved ones. It’s going to be amazing.”

Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience America’s favorite pastime. Children play on custom-designed, rubberized turf fields that accommodate wheelchairs and other assertive devices. The league uses a “buddy” system, pairing each player with an able-bodied peer. More than 500 potential Miracle League players have been identified in Covington County. Player registration is currently ongoing, Tyler said.

“This is going to be an exciting ball season,” she said. “Parents who are interested in letting their children play with the Miracle League should know that it won’t be as intensive as a typical softball or baseball season.

“There will be at least one organizational meeting before play begins, but then it’s just one game a week,” she said.

The league is free of charge and for boys and girls of all ages. For more information about play, contact, Caitlin Shipman, City of Andalusia Program Coordinator of Athletics, by phone at 334.428.2106 or 334.818.1057, or by email at

The project’s funding push began last April when hundreds of residents received personal letters from members of a Project Miracle Team, asking them to pledge $10 a month to the Miracle League of Covington County for five years. Local governments, including those on a municipal and county level, have pledged funds.

The playground equipment was ordered in December, and plans are under way for a construction build in March, Tyler said.

“If the rain would hold off, we could get the asphalt work done and then, be able to give a definitive date for the build,” she said.

To help in the fundraising effort, checks should be made to Andalusia Rotary Club Foundation/Project Miracle and mailed to Miracle League of Covington County, P.O. Box 1971, Andalusia, AL 36420.