UNION — Following a lengthy executive session earlier this week, Union County Council gave The Miracle League of Union County the go-ahead to proceed with construction on the field at Timken Sports Complex the county gave the organization last year.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, MLUC board chair Amy Austin said she was only there to give an update and joked that, for once, she wasn’t there to ask for anything. However, as she updated council members about the MLUC’s progress, she had no idea what was in store.
Following Austin’s update — prior to the adjournment of the meeting — council entered into what became an hour-long executive session to discuss contractual matters.
When council returned to open session, council member Kacie Petrie made a motion — which was seconded by council member Joan Little — to allow MLUC to proceed with the construction phase of converting Field No. 1 at Timken Sports Complex into a Miracle League field. Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
“Only one year after our county council agreed to donate Field No. 1 at Timken Sports Complex, we, The Miracle League of Union County, are ready to tear down the old and build up the new,” Austin said during her presentation. “To date, we have received or have concrete commitments totaling 96 percent of the $250,000 we set out to raise in April 2012.”
That 96 percent comes to $233,788.31, which leaves the MLUC only $16,211.69 short of its goal for the transformation of the field at Timken Sports Complex into an all-inclusive field for adults and children of all abilities and disabilities, featuring a low-impact surface that can accommodate walkers, wheelchairs and crutches, as well as cushion falls that cannot be prevented.
Austin mentioned the exhibition game hosted by MLUC in April 2011, and she reminded County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair of what he said before throwing the first pitch.
“It took y’all six years to build a field,” Austin said, quoting Sinclair. “We’ll have one in less than that. You can write it down.”
Austin said major fund-raising efforts were kicked off by Buffalo Seafood on April 30, 2012 and have come into the present through partners such as the Ray Tanner Fundraiser, Timken Family Foundation grants, Union County Chicken Stew fundraiser, a City of Union grant, a fundraiser at Tubozzz, sales at Christmas Open House, an upcoming fundraiser at La Fogata on March 21, and ongoing efforts from the Arthur State Bank Junior Board and Miracles from Kosovo.
The next step for the MLUC is to complete bid packets. Austin said once those are complete and approved by the national Miracle League office — which should take around two weeks — they can be sent out for construction work bids.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at email@example.com.