MYO Challenger League needs your help by voting for them to receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm® for their Field of Dreams for Athletes With Special Needs cause to help improve their community. Starting Wednesday, September 23, at 12:00am ET, U.S. residents who are 18 and older with a valid email address can vote for their cause at www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2034356.
MYO Challenger League has until Friday, October 2, at 11:59pm ET to rally votes. Vote now and often-anyone voting is allowed up to 10 votes per day! On November 4, the top 40 vote-receiving causes will be announced at www.neighborhoodassist.com and a $25,000 grant will be awarded to each of the affiliated nonprofits.
A Field of Dreams for Athletes with Special Needs
The MYO Challenger League, a baseball program for youth with physical and developmental challenges, has been working with the Mason Parks Foundation to raise money to build adapted baseball fields at Makino Park which is home to the Common Ground Playground, an inclusive playground designed to allow children and adults of all abilities to play and interact together. The State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant would help fund the construction of these fields which will remove access barriers present at typical fields, allowing players to play baseball and other organized sports unimpeded. The new fields will include turf playing surfaces, reducing rainouts, and ensuring participation for athletes with mobility devices. Parking lots, dugouts, bleachers, and restrooms will be accessible for athletes of all abilities. They will also enable the MYO Challenger League to expand its existing program, starting an adult special needs league, so athletes can continue to play as they age.
“This is a great opportunity for our community to come together, to promote inclusion and help build fields for a deserving group of athletes that just want to play ball,” said Susan Murdock, Co-president of the MYO Challenger Board. “Please vote for us often, daily, at www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2034356. Help us get our fund raising started!”
These fields will give the City of Mason, surrounding communities, and all Southwest Ohio a unique gathering space where athletes and families can come to a single location to play, socialize, and enjoy the game of baseball. Athletes with special needs will have a permanent home, where their ball fields, supporting facilities and amenities are designed with their needs in mind, removing barriers that they have previously endured. The quality of life for the community will be raised by increasing interaction within a space that has leveled the playing field for both free play and organized sports. Athletes with and without special needs, their families and the community will enjoy adapted baseball fields in a park that is designed for inclusion. The fields will be a premier destination in Southwest Ohio for years to come.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods The State Farm Review Committee selected the top 200 finalists from 2,000 submissions.
Co-president, MYO Challenger Board
About MYO Challenger League
The Mason Challenger League, a division of Mason Youth Organization (MYO), is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization. MYO provides Little League Baseball, Softball and Challenger programs in the Mason area. MYO introduced the Mason Challenger division to their program in fall of 2012. Mason Challenger League is open to boy and girl athletes five years of age to age 22. The program is available to athletes with special needs in the Mason area and surrounding communities. Today the league has around 100 athletes that play on eight different teams.
More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of the Little League Challenger Division is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participating in sports, the strengthening of participants’ self-esteem, the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play, and the disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play, which are hallmarks of the Little League program. The Little League Challenger Division provides the framework so Little League programs may offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in their communities. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger Division participants can experience the joys of pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements.