Will Smith loves baseball.
"I like to bat and throw," said Will, who turned 8 years old on Tuesday.
For two years, Will, a resident of Wadley, Ga., in Jefferson County, sat on the bench as a member of the Dixie Youth League because he has cerebral palsy and walks with a walker.
Then his mother, Kim, found the Miracle League in Macon, Ga. Next fall, officials with the Family Y in Augusta hope to have their own Miracle League. They are raising money for the construction.
The Miracle League was created especially for children with disabilities.
The Rockdale Youth Baseball Association in Conyers, Ga., founded the Miracle League in 1998 and has grown to more than 200 leagues.
Miracle League fields are made of a rubberized surface, which allows children in wheelchairs to safely round the bases. It has handicapped accessible dugouts. Buddies help the children bat and round the bases.
In the Miracle League, all children are allowed to bat and reach base safely. All children score. There are no wins and losses, and no outs.
"I'm grateful and thankful to have found a place for him to play," Smith said.
Saturdays this spring were long for the Smith family, said Smith. Trips to Macon from Wadley take about two hours.
When the field in Augusta is completed, the Smiths will only have about an one-hour drive to see Will play.
Millie Schumacher, the Family Y's community relations director, said the organization is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and officials want the Miracle League to be part of its legacy of the sesquicentennial celebration.
"This is a great natural addition to our existing youth sports fields," she said.
The fields will be located near the Wilson Family Y on Wheeler Road on land leased from First Baptist Church of Augusta.
It will cost about $225,000 to install the field. With lights, dugouts, parking and other amenities added, the project will cost about $1 million, she said.
The Family Y is raising money through brick sales and the Amy Grant concert on Oct. 12.
The Oct. 12 event will begin at 2 p.m. at the First Tee. The concert will be at 4 p.m. Also, the Family Y will attempt to break a Guinness world record with the world's largest family picnic. To attain the record, everyone must eat at 5:15 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $10.
For more information, call (706) 922-9622.
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