2014 Miracle League
Over $20K raised for YMCA Miracle League
South Meck HS Baseball presented a check for $20,005.75 to The Miracle League on Saturday May 3rd. Coach Jon Tuscan and Alicia Johnson were joined by the Sabres baseball team at the University YMCA Miracle League field.
South Meck High School baseball program hosted the third annual Miracle League game on Saturday March 8 at Sabre Field. Coach Jon Tuscan initiated this community activity three years ago with his players and involvement of the baseball family to share the excitement of the game with kids who may have never had a chance to play America's game on fields built to accomodate the special needs of participants. This years game featured a long standing South Meck vs. Myers Park tradition, and the participation of the Myers Park baseball family in this fund raising event was tremendous.
Now for the best part of all. Over $20,000 has been raised including a wonderful contribution from Planet Fitness of Greater Charlotte. This was raised across a bake sale, silent auction for a number of items, raffle for a TV and gasoline card, concessions, and gate money. Planet Fitness of Greater Charlotte agreed to kindly match the funds raised, and their generosity helped to more than triple the amount raised last year.
Matt Fitzwater, Director of Operations at the University city YMCA for the Miracle league summed up the days events "Thank you so much for the dedication you have shown to our Miracle League. Saturday was unbelievable and the money raised will make an immediate impact all across the Greater Charlotte community. The Miracle League is a program that warms the hearts of so many kids, parents, and volunteers in our community and the YMCA is so thankful for everyone’s contribution."
There was another special reason for the days celebration as South Meck HS welcomed back their 1989 state championship baseball team on their 25th anniversary of this achievement. Coach Ron Hillier, fourteen members of that '89 squad and their trainer returned to South Meck and they participated in a weekend celebration. Many of these players had not seen each other for years, and it renewed past friendship and shared a few stories with each other. The farthest traveler came from Costa Rica to join the festivities.
A State Championship monument was unveiled recognizing the 1989 and 2013 teams for their achievement. Family and friends had a great time, especially the '89 squad members with the photo opportunities with 'their' monument. South Meck HS is the only Mecklenburg county school with two baseball state championships.
Hosting a varsity baseball game takes some work. Add to that the Miracle League fund raiser of bake sales setup, raffle, silent auction, alumni game, and JV game there were many reason to make sure this day happened. Well Mother Nature who delivered rain, hail, sleet and snow last year, tried again to dampen the days events. Charlotte received over two inches of rain on Friday March 7th. The skies started clearing Friday evening and coaches and dads arrived at the field and saw rivers flowing and a swamp, and immediately started de-watering efforts. Back Saturday morning at 7:00 am they were really concerned about getting the field in playable conditions. Coaches and parents employed pumps, shop vacuums, and rollers to move gallons of wart off the field. Without them the event would not have happened. But we needed more effort to dry the field, and we thought one of the coaches had lost their mind when they suggested bringing in a helicopter. Wow, one was available and hovering over the field for about 50 minutes. Nicknamed the "Sabre Heli" it did the trick. Although the games were delayed a couple of hours, the junior varsity, varsity and alumni games were all played as planned.
Thanks to Coach Tuscan, Coach Colandro, Coach White, Coach Tench and Coach Shelton who all worked so hard to keep things going. They were there till 8:00 pm wrapping up the Alumni game. Thanks to all the volunteers that donated time and resources. These included: Susan Smith (Bake Sale), Charlena Umphlett (Silent Auction), Nicki Kennedy (Raffle), Jerry Bazin (Raffle), Voice of the Miracle League game (Eric Parada). Our South Meck organizer again this year was Alecia Johnson who did a marvelous job. And special thanks go to the Miracle League for delivering such a wonderful opportunity to our community.
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