12:30 p.m., Nov. 28)
ceremony held for Miracle League of Ottawa Field
By Fred Sherwin
Desrochers is joined by his father Rolly and
Mayor Jim Watson for the groundbreaking for
the future Miracle League of Ottawa Field
in Orléans. Fred Sherwin/Photo
is one step, and several shovels full of dirt, closer
to having its very own field of dreams.
it's completed sometime next summer, the Miracle League
Field currently under construction behind the Notre-Dame-des-Champs
Community Centre on Navan Road will combine a safe and
accessible baseball diamond with a playground for children
with special needs.
City of Ottawa and the Miracle League are working together
to make this dream come true, Mayor Jim Watson said
at the official groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. The
real miracles will take place next summer when children
with special needs will finally round the bases of a ball
diamond built especially for them.
facility is the dream of 12-year-old east end resident
Bryce Desrochers and his parents Rolly and Michelle. Bryce
was born with cerebral palsy, but he would like to play
sports like any other child.
dream was first hatched a little over a year ago when
the Desroches first met with Miracle League of Ottawa
president David Gourlay who also happens to own the Ottawa
Champions baseball franchise. He then approached Orleans
city councillor Bob Monette who teamed up with fellow
east end councillor Rainer Bloess to bring the city on
Rotary Club of Orléans then took the project on
as a fundraising initiative, and from there it took flight.
Before too long the money started rolling in, first as
a trickle and soon after in a flood. By September they
had raised over $600.000 thanks to several large donations
from the JaysCare Foundation and Kraft. Other donations
came from Telus, Pathway Hyundai, The Friends of Mer Bleue
and the Rotary Clubs of Orleans, Ottawa and Ottawa South.
additional donations announced during today's groundbreaking
ceremony from the Tunis Shriners ($12,000) and the Malhotra
Family ($150,000) has increased the total donations to
over $700,000. With the city agreeing to match the funds
raised dollar for dollar, the grand total is over $1.4
Desrochers still can't believe how far they have come
in just one year.
all started a year ago with two parents asking themselves,
'How in the world are we ever going to pull this off?'
Then we met David and he got on board and we met with
the Rotary Club and they got on board and it started to
gain traction. And then we met with Bob and Rainer and
it gained even more traction until here we are."
one at Friday's groundbreaking ceremony had a bigger smile
than Bryce, the young man whose dream is beginning to
is really all about Bryce and so many other kids in the
community who just want to play baseball like other kids,"
said Watson. "There are 4,000 special needs kids
in Ottawa who will be able to come here and spend a few
hours. It's like that movie, if you build it, they will
has already said that I will be able to come back to throw
the first pitch once it's completed and he's going to
hit the first ball."
figure now stands at $1.4 million.
Miracle League has partnered with the Ottawa Children's
Treatment Centre, which will use the field and playground
for rehabilitation and programming for more than 4,000
children in the nation's capital who have physical or
motto at the Miracle League of Ottawa is that every child
deserves to play the game of baseball, said David
Gourlay President of the Miracle League of Ottawa. We
are inspired by Bryce who reminds us always that if you
say your dreams out loud, they usually come true. With
the help of partners in Ottawa and across the country,
were going to make his dream a reality.
City is making the land available to the Miracle League
and will cover up to 50 per cent of the estimated $1.6
million cost of the project.
date the Miracle League of Ottawa has secured pledges
of $1.4 million, including pledges made at todays
groundbreaking of $150,000 and $12,000 by the Malhotra
Family Foundation and Tunis Shriners respectively.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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