The Miracle League of Blaine welcomed Armstrong High School’s baseball team as our buddies this past Saturday, May 19th. Even on a cloudy Saturday, there were bright smiles all around as the Armstrong Falcons teamed up with each player creating memorable bonds and lifelong memories.
Buddies are an amazing addition to the Miracle League of Blaine because they give parents a chance to be a part of the audience. Buddies are on the field, making sure each ball player is safe and assisting where needed, whether that includes cheering the player on as they run from base to base or helping a player that is up to bat.
Being a buddy helps teach others to see beyond the scope of the game. Miracle League of Blaine buddies get the chance to grow into a leadership position, to recognize the different abilities of their very own community, and interact with other youth that have their very same passion – baseball.
So much of life can feel like a competition, but that’s not what the Miracle League is about. The Miracle League of Blaine is working to give equal opportunities to baseball players of different abilities. It is also a beautiful reminder to the volunteers and buddies that the game is about teamwork, perseverance, and effort – not just a score. That’s a valuable lesson everyone can walk away with. It’s more than just the game; it’s watching the smiles form as the player hits the ball or is wheeled from base to base. It’s the follow-up; being able to be a part of the story behind that baseball player’s smile.
This year, we are proud to announce that we have received a great response regarding sponsorship from our local community and businesses in the surrounding area. With the help of the following organizations, we are able to open up play to over 120 kids in the North Metro, and make much needed repairs to our field! *Denotes returning sponsor
Special thanks to those sponsors returning for a second year! And a very big thank you to Cigars & Baseball (you may remember our volunteering at this event last year) and Blaine Festival Committee for their donations to repair our field. We are still fundraising for the replacement of our field so if you or someone you know is interested in sponsorship, please contact Stacy Alcox at email@example.com.
We are truly blessed to have the support of our community members and look forward to another amazing year!
The Miracle League of Blaine was featured on the KARE11 Sunrise news this morning!
Watch here to see if you know any of these amazing kids.
BLAINE, Minn.- Getting involved and lending a helping hand is a big part of what makes communities come together. We are so fortunate to have so many great foundations and non-profits here in Minnesota, so we decided to shine a light on those helping people in need and needing some help in return.
Our first non-profit spotlight is on the Miracle League of Blaine, which is an adaptive baseball program for kids with special needs from ages 3-21. Any child with special needs or disabilities can play baseball.
What an amazing day at the Miracle League of Blaine field! The weather was beautiful and the food was delicious!
We are so thankful that the Rotary Club of Blaine was on hand to cook delicious burgers and hot dogs, supplying everything we needed to have a successful picnic! We can’t thank them enough for their involvement in our league. They are interested in buddying for us in the fall, too!
As for the jerseys, they were a hit! Everyone enjoyed getting to meet their coaches and catch up with friends. We are estimating 200 folks attended our picnic!
We’re pretty sure the highlight of the day was Homer’s visit!
The day would not have been complete without all of our coaches and board members attending. And let’s not forget the Robbinsdale-Armstrong High School buddies who delayed going to prom to be on the field with us!
It is our pleasure to announce that our newest corporate sponsor of the Miracle League of Blaine is Chick-fil-A Coon Rapids at Riverdale and Chick-fil-A Northtown in Blaine.
The Chick-fil-A mascot will be making special appearances and most importantly, Chick-fil-A food will be available to buddies, players, and player families at the field for each Saturday morning game this year! (as supplies last)
If you have never enjoyed Chick-fil-A before, you are in for a real treat.
“Chick-fil-A Coon Rapids at Riverdale and Chick-fil-A Northtown in Blaine catering our games will help us achieve our goal of creating an “Event” atmosphere for Saturday mornings. Music, buddies, special guests, food, and crowds cheering… these are all part of celebrating the great game of baseball and our kids deserve every minute of it.” – Brandy Eckman, president, Miracle League of Blaine
“I am so excited and thankful to Chick-fil-A for sponsoring our Miracle League. I can’t wait for this season!” – Lori Gehrke, Vice President, Miracle League of Blaine
Chick-fil-A Restaurants Participating in Sponsoring Us
“Community is important to us and it is our hope that we can enrich the lives of all of our customers. We enjoy getting to know our guests and look forward to any opportunity to give back to this community who has so graciously supported us.” – Jason Griggs, Chick-fil-A Coon Rapids at Riverdale
“Partnering with the Miracle League of Blaine is an amazing opportunity for us as a locally owned Chick-fil-A to be able to invest in our local community. We are pumped for the excitement this upcoming season will bring!” – Eric Krebs, Chick-fil-A Northtown in Blaine
People often think their child can’t play on our league because they aren’t the kind of kid who can play in an organized league.
That is a common misconception.
The Miracle League of Blaine accepts ALL children (between the ages of 3-21) with special needs. The reason we are able to do this is because we utilize buddies. Each child is paired with an able bodied child or adult volunteer we refer to as buddies. Buddies make sure to keep our kids safe and engaged in the game. Buddies are so important to our league! They are the glue that holds our games together.
Having buddies for each child enables the parents to enjoy a bit of “normalcy” by sitting in the stands and cheering on their kids.
I know – I was skeptical at first, too. My family’s first game at a Miracle League field was in 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky. I was not sure we would be able to participate because my son was barely walking on his own at age 7, but we pushed ourselves to show up for the first game. When we first got to the game there were kids everywhere! Some were in wheelchairs, some in walkers. Others were walking and running the bases on their own.
There were kids who needed full assistance with batting and getting around the bases (like my son) and then there were kids who were heavy hitters and running the bases like pros. My family learned a lot about acceptance at that field over the 6 years we played there. I’ve tried to bring what we learned there and what we learned at the home office in Atlanta to the Blaine field.
The Buddy’s Role
Buddies help our kids enjoy the game but they also allow parents to enjoy getting to know the other parents of players. This makes us a community. As parents of kids with special needs, we can sometimes feel very alone and lonely. I made some of my best friends at the Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League in Lexington. Having those parents who know what you’re going through, who can lend a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on, is something really special.
But here’s the thing: Not only are the buddies helping our families, we are helping THEM! They get to know our kids and see them as just regular kids. The effect our kids have on them will last a lifetime. We are helping future husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, community leaders, business people, and members of society understand that our kids just want to be accepted and seen for who they are. Please, consider using a buddy for your kid this season. If it would help you, show up a few minutes early and teach your child’s buddy a little bit about them.
This season our buddies will be from the Blaine Area Traveling Baseball Association.
We will not turn any child with special needs away from playing on our field.
If you have any questions or concerns about whether or not your child can play, please give us a call or email one of our board members.
Looking forward to an amazing 2017 Major League Season!
President and Co-Founder
Miracle League of Blaine
P.S. Take a look at the gallery below to see the joy of both players and their buddies!
The board has been very busy gearing up for our Major League season, which starts on May 16th for Tuesday players and May 20th for Saturday players. Please click here to see our schedule. Dates for picture day and the holiday schedule are at that link as well.
Our Jersey Pick Up Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 13th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
If we have inclement weather that day, pick up will be in the concessions building at the times listed above. Our Pick Up day is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Blaine. They will be supplying a picnic for us, and we will have batting practice that day for those who wish. We are in need of 4 volunteers for jersey pick up day, May 13th, to run the pick up table. We will need two volunteers prior to that to help us get the jerseys sorted (date TBD).
We are also looking for team parents. The team parent will be in the dugout for each game so the other parents can relax and cheer from the stands. This will ensure the games run smoothly since we have so many players this season. Team parents will assist coaches in creating batting line up and equipment help at the end of the game.
All volunteers will receive a free Miracle League of Blaine tee shirt similar to the one shown!
Just like with other community sports teams, the participation of our parents is tantamount to our success! If you would like to have input on how the league is functioning, please attend a board meeting and perhaps join the board. We would love to have more parental involvement.
If interested in volunteering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandy Eckman, Lori Gehrke, Stacy Murphy, Andy Stromgren, Joyce Golaski, and Tom Gajeski
Miracle League of Blaine Board Members