The dedication ceremony at McCoy Park is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and will also feature representatives from the Royals, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Miracle League of Kansas City, Strickland Construction, Independence Parks and Recreation, Unlimited Play, Inc. and Variety Children's Charity.
"This is a great day for the kids in the Kansas City metro area," said Cal Ripken, Jr. "We are honored to be a part of the thoughtful efforts of the Glass Family and Kansas City Royals to provide such a wonderful park for children with special needs to have a fun and safe place to play."
Following the ceremony, the Royals and Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids will officially christen the new baseball field by hosting a youth clinic led by Royals players for approximately 40 children with special needs. The clinic is set for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The children will each receive their own personalized Royals jersey and be treated to lunch following the clinic.
"The Royals and Royals Charities are excited to be involved with these wonderful adaptive field projects that will benefit children with special needs in our community," said Toby Cook, Royals Vice President-Community Affairs & Publicity. "It was a thrill for us to be able to host the 2012 MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium and showcase our beautiful city, but it's even more special to see how All-Star Week continues to positively impact the Kansas City area."
The Independence Ability Field at McCoy Park
The City of Independence Parks and Recreation Department has transformed a section of McCoy Park into an accessible baseball field and play area for kids with and without disabilities. In addition to the baseball field, the park, which is located in the shadow of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, now feature a play area designed by Unlimited Play, Inc., with specialized equipment ensuring all children can participate regardless of limitations created by disabilities. Jackson County (Mo.) has more than 3,800 children with disabilities, the largest number of any county in the Kansas City area.
Additional support for this field is provided by the Greater Kansas City Automobile Dealership Association, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Eitas, State Farm Insurance, Jim Kidwell Construction, Teamsters Local 41, LDS Foundation, Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation, Junior Services League of Independence, Truman Heartland Community Foundation and Building Trades Council.
Olathe Miracle League Field
The Miracle League of Olathe has a new home field within the College Boulevard Activity Complex, located at 11031 S. Valley Parkway in Olathe.
Since 2004, the Olathe Miracle League has played its games in the backyard of Ricky Hernandez, a youngster bound to a wheelchair whose family has graciously hosted more than 25 disabled children on Saturdays in the spring and fall. The Dream Factory built the custom baseball field at Ricky's home more than nine years ago after hearing of his dream to play baseball. The construction of this new adaptive field will help the Miracle League of Olathe reach more children in the district.
Additional support for this field is provided by Olathe Public Schools, Olathe Medical Center and Strickland Construction.
Remaining All-Star funds will support future field projects as part of Royalty Fields matching grant program. Created in 2006, the ongoing Royals Charities program strives to improve baseball and softball facilities across the Midwest. With these two adaptive baseball fields, 83 fields have received financial support since its inception. Baseball and softball programs in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas or South Dakota may apply for a Royalty Fields matching grant for major renovations. For more information, visit www.royals.com/royaltyfields.
MLB and the Royals donated approximately $4 million from a portion of the proceeds from the MLB Gatorade All-Star Workout Day to benefit a variety of local community projects and national charitable organizations. Since 1997, more than $60 million has been donated to non-profit organizations from MLB Gatorade All-Star Workout Day proceeds. The 2012 All-Star Summer boasted one of the most extensive weeks of charitable activity in All-Star history, as MLB and the Royals partnered on more than 26 initiatives during All-Star Week.
For more information, members of the media may contact the Royals Publicity Department at (816) 921-8000.
Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City: Variety is an international, volunteer-driven organization with 52 active chapters worldwide committed to bettering the quality of life for special needs children. Variety of Greater Kansas City - Tent 8 is dedicated to raising funds to assist individual families and to strengthen and reinforce agency programs in the Kansas City area for Kansas City's special needs children. Annual grants are awarded to select children's agencies each year, while families are assisted throughout the year through the "Kids On The Go!" mobility program which includes vans with lifts, wheelchairs, adaptive bicycles, prosthetic limbs, medical procedures and more. With your support, Variety The Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City will continue as a successful and valuable organization serving special needs children in the Kansas City area. To learn more about this organization, please visit www.varietykc.org.
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation: The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation uses baseball- and softball-themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved youth residing in America's most distressed communities. Founded in 2001 by members of the Ripken family in memory of their patriarch Cal, Sr., the Foundation works to create programs that positively impact at-risk youth through active community partnerships with America's most successful youth service organizations. The Ripken Foundation uses the baseball and softball field to help teach life's critical lessons such as perseverance, loyalty, nutrition, hard work and leadership to young people residing in disadvantaged communities. The Ripken Foundation has impacted over 1 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park initiative and Badges for Baseball programming, since 2001.
Royals Charities: The Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities are committed to being active members of the Kansas City community and region. Created in 2001, Royals Charities supports children, education, youth baseball/softball and military efforts in and around the Kansas City area through financial donations and in-kind support such as memorabilia, tickets and publicity. Under the leadership of the Glass family, Royals Charities has donated more than $8 million in grants since its inception.