MLA welcomes a sister program in Ellsworth, Maine! Read more
Welcome to the Miracle League of Alexandria (MLA) website. You will find a lot of information on this site about the MLA, its activities, and the people that it works with. We hope that you find it both useful and informative.
Let’s start with a brief background of the MLA. The MLA is a group of private citizens who banded together to work to help develop outdoor recreational opportunities for Alexandria’s special needs community. We formed the MLA in 2010 when Mac Slover from the City’s Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities approached some of us with the idea of a Miracle Field for our special needs community.
A Miracle Field is a rubberized surface baseball diamond designed specifically to allow wheelchairs and walkers to be used in a safe and pleasant environment to play sports. The field is geared towards baseball, but many other sports and activities can be played on it – adaptive soccer and wheelchair basketball are just two examples. And while it is designed for the special needs players, it can also be used by others as well – T-ball players; senior exercise classes; therapeutic sessions; etc.
When we formed the MLA, we wanted to make it a collaborative effort. We wanted to work with the City of Alexandria, the Kelley Cares Foundation (a sister charity helping the therapeutic recreation community), and the private sector in a public/private partnership. The City had tentatively scheduled a Miracle Field to be built in ten years at a cost to the City of $585,000. The MLA was able to work with private sector donors to raise over $300,000 of that cost and have the field built in 2 years.
The Kelley Cares Miracle Field was built and dedicated in the fall of 2012 – just two years after the effort started. Our players love it! Baseball games are held in the spring and fall seasons, with the field being used year round for other sports.
Building on the success of the Miracle Field, the MLA and its partners just finished paying for a fully accessible playground near the field.
And our work continues as we support the City-run Miracle League Program. Our members provide volunteers to help the players at the games and continue to raise funds to support the program.
However, our players can always use more help! Take a look through the website and if you are interested, contact us and join the MLA team.
While our focus is on the special needs community, we support all sports for all kids. An example of that is our support for the Let’s Move and Play Ball Initiative (pdf). We participated in its kick-off event hosted by Alexandria’s Mayor Bill Euille on August 10, 2015. Here’s a picture of the participants.