VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) – A new partnership will provide a state-of-the-art, accessible baseball and soccer field in Vernon for children with disabilities and their families.
The Town of Vernon, Vernon Public Schools, and the Miracle League of Northern Connecticut are partnering to establish the field, which will be at the Northeast School just off Route 30.
The field will have a synthetic short turf surface and be completely accessible to those who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues.
The Vernon Board of Education approved the contract with Miracle League of Northern Connecticut at its meeting Monday night.
“This is the culmination of a 30-year love affair of my wife and I with special needs athletes,” said Miracle League of Northern Connecticut President Steve Leibowitz. “I’ve coached challenger baseball for 30 years. So, we’re very excited about bringing this to Vernon.”
The field will also have dugouts that are wheelchair accessible. They will also be completely flat and free of barriers so children with visual disabilities can participate too.
“It’s another positive for the town of Vernon and the region,” said Vernon Mayor Dan Champagne. “We have great athletes who need a home, who need a place to play, and that’s the goal today.”
Each player has a buddy to assist them.
Elizabeth Bauch of Vernon was at Tuesday’s announcement with her son Joseph.
“It gives us a chance to participate in recreational activities that are designed for my son, and it also means we get to meet other families just like us and to form that bond with them,” Bauch said.
The Miracle League is in the process of raising money to build the field. They said the goal is to raise $600,000. They have raised $275,000 so far and are hoping to break ground next June.
There are two other Miracle Fields in Connecticut, in West Hartford and East Lyme.