Young Joshua Lindgren said it simply, and may have said it best.
“I like to play baseball,” he said.
Hundreds of people came out to the Bielenberg Sports Center on Thursday for the dedication of the field, which features special turf for children with mental or physical handicaps. It has a cushioned, synthetic turf that accommodates wheelchairs and other assistive devices.
“It’s amazing,” said Dawn Lindgren, mother of Joshua and Tyler. “There’s nothing else like this for the kids.”
Much of the fundraising for the field—$250,000—came from the Woodbury Rotary Club, according to Cork Wicker, past president. Thursday’s event culminated five years of work and plenty of support from the community, he said.
“This is fabulous,” Wicker said.
Several years ago, a Rotary Club member had seen a Miracle Field in another state and thought it would be a good addition to Woodbury, he said. It was great to see the kids running around the field Thursday, Wicker said.
“It just brings a tear to your eye,” he said, “seeing all these kids out here doing something they never thought they’d be able to do. And they’re having a ball.”
Mark Hargis, who served as the emcee, was among a group of Woodbury High School graduates who came together last fall to organize a fundraiser that netted nearly $80,000 for the Miracle Field.
Hargis said he played baseball “since I can remember,” and was happy families with disabled children are able to enjoy the sport in his hometown.
He also thanked the groups involved with making the field a reality for “their support and dedication every day.”
Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens spoke at the event, noting the contributions from the business community, Rotary Club and citizens.
“Woodbury is really proud to be a partner in this project,” she said.
Said Hargis: “I’m just happy for the kids. That’s really what it’s all about.”