Eden Prairie now has its own Miracle Field, thanks to local baseball enthusiasts and a small role played by the Eden Prairie Community Foundation.
Miracle Fields, found nationwide, are specially designed baseball diamonds for kids and young adults with disabilities. Design features including a rubberized surface make baseball enjoyable for young people with a wide range of special needs. Volunteer “buddies” and others help organize the games so that they’re not only fun, but competitive, too.
The Eden Prairie Miracle Field is a $245,000 baseball diamond at Flying Cloud Fields, near Flying Cloud Airport. The idea for the EP project came about more than five years ago, when young Eden Prairie baseball players and their parents from a travel-league team were in Lakeville and saw a Miracle Field in action there.
They brought the idea back to Eden Prairie, got help from the City of Eden Prairie and the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, and their fundraising campaign was soon underway. Several years later, the brand-new field is ready for play.
The Foundation’s role was acting as the fiscal sponsor of the project, offering tax-deductibility to donors and providing a safe place for the funds raised for the project. That’s a common role for community foundations, because they are typically a 501(c)(3) and are regularly audited. The Foundation also provided administrative services — including donor thank-you’s — for a small fee.
The Foundation’s sponsorship allowed the organizers to focus on fundraising. Along the way, the Foundation also provided a $5,000 grant to the project.
If you’d like to know more about how the Eden Prairie Miracle Field came about, read this comprehensive story titled “Play Ball” from the July 2016 issue of Southwest Metro Magazine. If you’d like to reach the organizers of Miracle Field, contact David Espe at [email protected]cast.net.
Congratulations, Eden Prairie, on this newest amenity. It’s a great one!