Members of the Zanesville Daybreak Rotary learned of this project at a Rotary District meeting in 2004 attended by several Rotarians including Fred and Bebe Grant. Their insistence that this be something that our community could benefit from was the catalyst for the project.
In May 2006, after months of investigation, the Zanesville Daybreak Rotary Club Foundation entered into an agreement with the National Miracle League Association of Conyers, Georgia, to form the Miracle League of Muskingum Valley Ohio. The Muskingum Valley League became the second one formed in Ohio, the first being the Central Ohio Miracle League located in Dublin, Ohio which was established in 2004.
Our community and governmental interest for the proposed project was overwhelming so the Zanesville Daybreak Rotary Club took the necessary steps to make the Miracle League of Muskingum Valley Ohio a separate not-for-profit community and area wide entity to serve the mentally and/or physically challenged children of Zanesville, Muskingum County and the nine surrounding counties in S.E. Ohio.
The first ADA approved and Miracle League compliant baseball field and facility was planned for an area of land adjacent to the former Muskingum County Home and the Starlight School and Workshop. We were granted a 99 year lease from our County Commissioners. This site is across from Ohio University Zanesville and Zane State which affords us collaborative teaching and learning experiences.
Ground was broken for the facility in October of 2007 on All Children's Day and our first Fall Family Fun Day was held in October 2008, just one year later. Our field surface is made from 157,000 pounds of recycled Ohio rubber tires and is completely barrier free for wheelchairs, walkers, and vision impaired children. Children with any disability that prevents them from participation in a regulation baseball program is welcome to join us. An adult program will be added in 2010. The handicapped restrooms and a concession are currently under construction and the entire facility will be completed for a grand opening in June of 2009.
The Miracle Leauge of Muskingum County, is a nonprofit organization of volunteers that built a specialized facility and operates a nationally recognized baseball program for children with physical or mental disabilities. The organization firmly believes every child deserves a chance to play America's favorite pastime, the game of baseball, without regard to their disability.
Children and adults that suffer from any physical or mental disability that excludes them from conventional youth baseball programs, but have the dream and determination to play baseball, will be welcomed into the local Miracle League program. The goal is to help them achieve their dream while building their self esteem. The Miracle League "buddy" system pairs each player with an able-bodied volunteer peer. The resulting bond and esteem building for both is indescribable.
The Miracle League cannot change or cure the medical issues that life has dealt our children with disabilities. What we can do is provide these children with an opportunity to experience the joy of belonging to a team and playing the game of baseball.
The Miracle League of Muskingum Valley Ohio, Inc. is a non-profit, public charity, 501(c)(3). The Zanesville Daybreak Rotary Club is the founding sponsor and the associate of the National Miracle League Association of Conyers, Georgia.
Muskingum Area businesses, service clubs, and many wonderful individuals have embraced this endeavor and opened their hearts in support. Through the dedicated work of many, the Miracle League field was completed and league play began in June 2009.
To make a donation, please make a check payable to "Miracle League of Muskingum Valley Ohio, Inc." and mail to our address listed below or drop off at any banking center of Century National Bank or Huntington National Bank.
The Miracle League of Muskingum Valley Ohio, Inc.
PO Box 185 Zanesville, OH
Rotarians should visit the following web sites in order to become familiar with the national program and the Dublin, Ohio project: