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Miracle League of Lake County ball park slides closer to completion

Kristi Garabrandt | The News-Herald

The Miracle League of Lake County adaptive ball field is sliding closer to completion.

The ball park with an all-inclusive playground, designed with a specialized playing surface to accommodate individuals with special needs, was first announced Sept. 29, 2016.

The Lubrizol Miracle League Playground at Classic Park in Eastlake was opened almost one year later on Sept. 21, and now the ball park is anticipated to be ready by mid June.

Lake County has over 2,000 residents who can benefit from the utilization these facilities, which upon completion will be open year round, according to a media release from the City of Eastlake.

Eastlake Mayor Dennis Morley is hopeful that, weather permitting, construction on the adaptive ball field will resume construction sometime in March. To finish the project all together, ADA family bathrooms, the dugouts, and the surface for the field still need finished.

Morley expects the field to go in sometime in May when the weather is warmer.

The field will be created with Pebbleflex, a special hypo-allergenic padded surface designed to prevent injury. The cost of the Pebbleflex is $165,000.

Morley believes that organizers are getting close to the $1.2 million they need to complete the project.

“We feel we are maybe $50,000 to $100,000 from where we need to be to finish, so we still need to get a little more money,” Morley said. “I would feel more comfortable with extra money in case something happens.”

All the funds raised have been through private and corporate donors and contributions. A Miracle League fund-raiser is being planned for April 17.

The committee is meeting April 6, to work on the details for the fundraiser, which will be held at E-PAL located at 600 East 349th St.

The event will probably be planned similar to last year’s First Pitch Fundraiser , with tickets expected to be $50. There will be a reverse raffle, with five numbers pulled, sideboards, and Chinese Auctions.

More details on the fund-raiser will be released as they become available.

The fund-raising committee is looking for donations for the Chinese auction. Those who are interested in donating an item can contact Dennis Morley at Eastlake City Hall 440-951-1416 or email [email protected].

Morley and the YMCA of Willoughby have been working together to get registration started for teams within the next couple of months. Once the final details have been completed, all registrations will go through the YMCA.

The search for team sponsors will begin shortly as well, according to Morley.

The mayor also notes they are still looking for sponsors for donor bricks which can be purchased at www.deepwoodfoundation.org. and a sponsor for the scoreboard.

“We are going to have all the electric and everything in for the scoreboard but, we will not have a scoreboard this year without a sponsor,” Morley said. “The scoreboard is about $50,000.”

Those interested in any sponsorship opportunities can contact [email protected].

The mayor who is hoping to see the first game happen around the middle to end of June.

“I am looking forward to the kids playing baseball. I am looking forward to the opening day,” Morley said. “Just like when I went to Findlay, just to watch those kids playing baseball in their wheelchairs and walkers and everything else, just to see their faces will light up everyone else’s face.”