The Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association were on hand today to help celebrate the completion of the Miracle League of Western New York Field Presented by the Buffalo Sabres, a baseball field and complex designed for children with disabilities.
The Sabres, through its Buffalo Sabres Foundation, and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association each donated $75,000 for the construction of the complex. The completion of the complex, which is located in Grand Island’s Veterans Park, was celebrated with a one-inning baseball game with representatives of the Sabres playing alongside 40 participants of the Miracle League of WNY.
The complex will serve as the playing field for The Miracle League of WNY, the local chapter of the nationally organized Miracle League, which provides the opportunity for disabled athletes from around the country to play organized baseball. Besides a specially designed playing surface, the complex features a concession stand and bathrooms that are wheelchair accessible.
Fundraising for the field began in July 2010 and quickly attracted the attention of the Sabres, the Sabres Alumni, the Town of Grand Island and several other corporate sponsors, all of whom donated time, money and resources to build the complex. Members of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Foundation were on hand in April 2011 for the groundbreaking and construction was completed four months later, well ahead of the one to two years it usually takes for a project of this kind.
“We are extremely thankful for the support from the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni, not only for their donation but also for their involvement in our organization,” said Teresa Hooper, the president of the Miracle League of Western New York. “It means a lot to our players and volunteers to have their heroes cheer them on and show their support.”
“Our volunteers were excited to find Larry Playfair working in the mud and stone right along with us on a daily basis, as well as Rene Robert helping with construction and staining of the picnic tables,” Hooper added.
Both the Sabres and the Sabres Alumni Association are committed to providing support to non-profit organizations in the Western New York area that are dedicated to making the region a better place to live and work.
“We’re always looking to help worthwhile organizations that share the same beliefs about making our community a better place for everyone,” said Playfair, President of the Sabres Alumni Association. “The Miracle League of WNY will be making sports available to everyone, regardless of their ability, and we think that’s very important. We’re thrilled to be a part of this project.”
The official opening of the Miracle League Field of Western New York Field Presented by the Buffalo Sabres will be on Sept. 11, when the Miracle League of WNY will host an open house at the complex from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.. The public is encouraged to attend and tour the facilities, as well as find out how to get involved with the league.
For more information on the Miracle League of Western New York, please visit www.miracleleaguewny.org