The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

March 30, 2013

Pitching in to play ball

Volunteers, players transform AMBUCS park into a field of dreams in Enid

ENID, Okla. — A field of dreams, of sorts, is in the works at ABC AMBUCS Park.

Fundraising continuing to bring in money for a new surface on the ball field, which is home to Enid’s Miracle League.

Robert Faulk, project coordinator and president of Enid’s Miracle League, said the group is some $40,000 shy of its goal.

The new field will be covered by an artificial turf surface, rather than rubber, as originally planned.

“The turf is more durable and has a better warranty,” said Faulk. “Based upon all the factors, we are leaning toward going with a turf surface. Besides, it will look more like a baseball field. It is a better fit for us.”

Money comes from various sources, including the annual Roberts Ranch Smokin’ Red Dirt Barbecue, Miracle League Mud Volleyball, Tour De Trykes and the Give A Buck fundraiser. Plans are to install the surface by October.

“Right now we’re just playing on dirt and grass,” said Faulk. “That makes it a little difficult. About half our kids have challenges that make getting around the base paths difficult. This new surface will really help them out and allow them to be more independent.”

The new surface will feature a shorter blade of faux grass than other artificial turf, Faulk said, and will utilize more sand than rubber.

“It makes (the surface) harder and makes it easier for them (the players) to roll around on,” he said.

Everyone plays

Miracle League is a baseball league for those with physical and mental challenges who otherwise might never get a chance to take part in America’s national pastime.

Miracle League fields are designed to accommodate those who have mobility challenges. The base path, bases, batter’s box, pitcher’s mound and home plate are painted onto the field. Base paths are wider, while dugouts and other areas are built to be accessible to those with special needs.

In May, Enid’s Miracle League, co-sponsored by Noon AMBUCS and 4RKids Foundation, will begin its fourth season. Last season the league had 54 players divided among four teams, up from 48 players the first year. The league is open to those age 5 and older.

Players play for teams named Giants, Angels, Dodgers or Braves. All receive an official hat and an official jersey.

The league tries to attract new players by sending letters to all special education teachers within a 50-mile radius of Enid.

“We are trying to get 70 this year,” said Faulk. “If we get 70 we will add an additional team. I believe that we could have at least 100 if we get the word out. Lots of kids enjoy playing. We would really like to have one or two more teams.”

Miracle League games are played under special rules. Every player bats and scores a run each inning of the three-inning games. Each player also is assigned a “buddy” to help them during the game. T-ball tees are used for those who need them, and extremely soft balls are used. The games are non-competitive, Faulk said, the emphasis being on participation rather than competition.

Text Only
Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the enidnews.com site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link