A rocket ship landed in Moon on Wednesday — or, more specifically, a statue of a rocket ship that will welcome athletes with special needs to the Miracle League of Moon Township.
The Miracle League of Moon Township is a nonprofit that helps local athletes with disabilities or special needs to safely play and interact with others.
The Miracle League will host its first baseball season for athletes with special needs beginning May 15.
They’re also fundraising for a space-themed adaptive playground where children with special needs can safely play, said Mike Magulick, league president.
On Wednesday, a spaceship statue adorned with the Miracle League of Moon Township’s logo was put on display at the entrance. The locally-crafted piece, made by Technique Architectural Products, matches a theme that will persist throughout the park.
“We’re in the front of Moon Park, so when you pull into the township park, the first thing you’ll see is Miracle Field,” Magulick said. “Because we’re the Miracle League and in Moon Township, we’re doing a space theme.”
At the baseball field, the gates where the players enter the field look like rocket ships, he added.
“Part of the theming is to make sure everybody feels welcome and it’s someplace the athletes want to come,” Magulick said. “If you go to any baseball field or park in the country, they have a bunch of statues and theming. It’s the same for the athletes with special needs — they want to have the same experience.”
The baseball field is designed specifically for athletes with special needs.
“The field allows athletes with special needs to play in a safe environment,” he said. “The field is a smooth surface, no raised bases, everything is at zero grade. It’s an awesome place for kids to be part of the team and for the community to come cheer them on.”
In addition to plans to install an adaptive playground, Magulick said the organization hopes to also incorporate other sports.
The concept is important to Magulick, whose son Luke was diagnosed with a rare condition called 4P Minus. Because of his condition, Magulick said, it was difficult for Luke to play with his older brother or play sports.
“We didn’t like the idea of our son never being part of a team,” Magulick said.
Magulick’s son served as his inspiration to launch a park where every child could safely play.
“We want to make the kids a star for the day,” he said. “They’ll have team shirts and their names will be announced. It’ll be a place for their family members to come see them play a sport and be part of a team.”
The facility also includes bathrooms designed to be accessible for people with disabilities, Magulick said.
“The main reason is to make sure everyone can play together,” Magulick said of the park. “We’re trying to make it accessible for everybody to be independent.”
While the park’s main focus is helping athletes with special needs, its construction has also supported local businesses. Over 90% of the roughly $2 million that went into the site has been spent at local businesses, Magulick said.
The community, he said, has rallied behind their initiative.
“We had a dream and the community has supported us to help build this for athletes with special needs,” he said. “We’re really proud to be able to have the field open here in a couple weeks.”
Miracle League of Moon Township is accepting registrations for athletes who want to participate in their upcoming baseball season — or for volunteers — on their website. Donations are also accepted online.
Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, email@example.com or via Twitter .
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