Welcome to The Miracle League
of the Chippewa Valley!
The Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley gives children ages 4-19 who have cognitive or physical disabilities the opportunity to play baseball on a rubberized field. That special field allows players the use of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and braces, helping to alleviate falls and trips.
We’ve completed our first season of play — with 75 players! — at the Miracle League Field at Jeffers Road Park, on Eau Claire’s northwest side. The field was dedicated in early June, with regular-season play running two nights each week (except for the week of July 4) until early August.
We were challenged by wet weather for a good share of the summer, but our first season was a great experience for all involved. Players and volunteers alike made new memories on a beautiful field, with family and friends cheering them on from the bleachers!
We still need your help as a financial donor or volunteer. The capital campaign to raise funds for our facility is working hard to raise $525,000, including a $100,000 donation from Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (Goodwill NCW). Through Dec. 31, a $10,000 matching grant from the Mason Family Trust can double your donation. To donate, click here.
The Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley is making a huge difference for children in Wisconsin’s greater Chippewa Valley — kids who have wanted to play ball but haven’t yet had the opportunity. In Miracle League play, they get the same opportunities as any other kid!
Here’s what happens in Miracle League play:
- Every game has two innings. Every player bats. Every player scores. Every player is accompanied on field by a volunteer “buddy,” who must be at least 14 years old. That “buddy” stays with that player for every game of the two-month season. The teams and players are introduced to the crowd before the game, and the national anthem is played. Between innings, we do a “seventh-inning stretch” and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Volunteers also serve as announcers, umpires and coaches.
Player and volunteer registration:
- We’ve completed our 2017 season, but will soon be accepting player registration for the 2018 season. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details.
- Volunteer registration options: Click here for the mail-in form for volunteer. Click here for the online form for volunteer.
Goodwill NCW produced this 2015 video about its Miracle Leagues in the Fox Valley and Lakeshore.
While the Miracle League is new to the Chippewa Valley, it’s not new to other areas of our state. Goodwill NCW supports the Miracle League of the Fox Valley (with a field in Appleton) and the Miracle League of the Lakeshore (Manitowoc), and other Miracle Leagues operate in Green Bay, La Crosse/Onalaska, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Oconomowoc.
A Miracle League is not about competition. It’s about relationships and being part of a team, often for the first time.
Our player-buddy relationships last for the season and often beyond, and are the heart of the Miracle League. It’s heartwarming for the families and friends of our players to see how their children develop those friendships with their buddies.
Our steering committee, building awareness team (BAT) and capital campaign committee have developed the volunteer organization and organizing construction of our Eau Claire facility. We have six teams and 75 players in our inaugural season!
Two important steps have been achieved: Registering The Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley with the national Miracle League and becoming a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW) so that we have an instant nonprofit structure and home, and are fully ready to accept donations.
Our field and facility are at Eau Claire’s Jeffers Park, also the home to Eau Claire National Little League Baseball and Eau Claire Fastpitch Softball programs.
We’re working on a $525,000 capital campaign to fund construction of our specially equipped field at Jeffers Road Park, owned by the City of Eau Claire. The facility was opened and dedicated June 3, 2017. Our capital campaign committee is still seeking community volunteers and support from throughout the region to help.
Goodwill NCW is our 501(c)(3) program home and has made a lead-off gift of $100,000 toward field construction.
Our steering committee is getting the word out to potential players and buddies, enlisting program sponsors, and creating a strong, sustainable organization that serves the greater Chippewa Valley.
If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley steering committee chair Amy Standiford at email@example.com or steering committee vice-chair Tim Wavrunek at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested in donating, contact Nick White at email@example.com.