UNION — The Miracle League of Union County took a big step forward in its campaign to raise $75,000 by the end of this month thanks to the generosity of an area church, other contributors, and those who participated in Saturday’s “Music and Miracles Community Fun Day” this past Saturday.
Since February, the MLUC has been working to raise funds for the construction of an all-inclusive “ALLstar Park” at the Timken Sports Complex. The park, which will be located next to the MLUC ball field at the Timken Sports Complex, will be designed to provide play and recreation for everyone including children and adults with disabilities or diseases like multiple sclerosis, older adults with physical challenges, injured veterans, and children with Autism.
A groundbreaking was held on May 24 for the park which is projected to cost $350,000 to build. Its construction is being financed with donations and funds raised by the MLUC in cooperation with other local organizations.
Among those to have contributed to the effort is the Timken Foundation which awarded the MLUC a $75,000 grant. The grant came with the promise that the Foundation will donate another $75,000 if the MLUC can raise the matching funds by the end of July.
The MLUC’s efforts to raise that match continued Saturday when WBCU Radio sponsored the Music and Miracle Community Fun Day at the Union County Fairgrounds. The event featured a wide variety of entertainment including musical performances and a talent show, a dunking booth and a water slide, appearances by local and area pageant queens and some other very special guests, auctions and food and other items for sale.
MLUC Executive Director Amy Austin said Tuesday that Fun Day was a huge success that helped move the group closer to its fundraising goal.
“The members of The Miracle League of Union County Board would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made Music & Miracles Community Fun Day a success this past weekend,” Austin said. “The weather was scorching and the hours were long but it was a great day. We are pleased to report that you all raised $4,547.40 to go toward the building of Union’s ALLstar Park.”
Austin thanked all those who helped make Fun Day a success.
“Thank you to Chris Woodson and WBCU Radio Station, the radio sponsors, vendors, talent show contestants, people who donated auction items, bouncy slides and food,” she said. “The special guests who came and had photos made with the children; EMS for being there; all of the friends and family who came; the many volunteers who worked to make it all come together; and the judges and the bands. You all made this possible and we appreciate you.”
Austin said that the funds raised through Fun Day together with other donated funds received recently enabled the MLUC to take a big step forward toward meeting its goal.
“With the money raised this weekend, a few memorials and a $1,000 donation from Jonesville Baptist Church, we are excited to color in six more spots on our goal page,” Austin said. “Just eleven more to go before July 30. We know it will happen because of people like you. Thank you again.”
To contribute to the MLUC’s efforts to raise the matching funds for the Timken Foundation grant call 864-466-7879, contact an MLUC board member, or visit The Miracle League of Union County Facebook page or website at www.themiracleleagueofunioncounty.org.
Photo by Heather Nicholson After helping judge the talent show at Saturday’s “Music and Miracles Community Fun Day,” Ali Henderson entertains the crowd while scores were being tallied. She is a singer/songwriter from Gaffney, South Carolina and has already sang on some of the biggest stages in the world. Ali has been singing since the age of five, and grew up singing in church. She has been heard all around the South and more recently, the nation. She was on seasons 13 and 14 of American Idol, where she performed songs such as “PriceTag,” “Born This Way,” “Don’t you Worry Child,” and most notably, an acoustic version of “Toxic” by Britney Spears. She advanced to Hollywood with the golden ticket, where she received comments from Harry Connick Jr. such as “You have such perfect pitch, you sound auto tuned. You have a nice tone to your voice, so I’m saying, yes. and “loved it!!” by Jennifer Lopez (on Ali’s performance of Toxic.) Ali is the 2014 Vocal/Artist winner of “Nashville Connections Hero’s Salute.” She is currently performing and writing in Nashville Tennessee, where she attends Belmont University School of Music, majoring in Commercial Music.
Photo by Heather Nicholson Amy Austin, Executive Director of The Miracle League of Union County, poses with dancers from Foothills Dance Arts from Easley, SC. This group performed “Autism Speaks,” a modern dance piece that explores the many aspects of the Autism spectrum. The inspiration for the piece came from Foothills Dance Arts Director Suzanne Goodman whose daytime job is as a Teacher Assistant in a Neuro Special Ed Class. Suzanne says, “Working with those students on a daily basis created a need to share with others how amazing and complex these individuals are. Autism is so often misunderstood and people are frightened by the simple ways these individuals cope. Hopefully Autism Speaks can enlighten the public in some small way and further the understanding of an amazing part of our population. Everyone deserves a chance to be understood and loved for who they are.”
Photo by Heather Nicholson Brianna Bailey of Union performs, winning 1st place in the vocal division of the talent competition at Saturday’s “Music and Miracles Community Fun Day.” The event, which was held at the Union County Fairgrounds, was sponsored by WBCU Radio to help the Miracle League of Union County raise funds for the construction of an an all-inclusive “ALLstar Park” at the Timken Sports Complex. Fun Day, which featured a variety of entertainment and activities, raised more than $4,500.
Photo by Heather Nicholson Despite the heat, Miracle League Board members Heather Vinson and Sherri Williams have a good time while selling raffle tickets and taking Peoples Choice Contest donations at Saturday’s “Music and Miracles Community Fun Day.” The event, which was held at the Union County Fairgrounds, was sponsored by WBCU Radio to help the Miracle League of Union County raise funds for the construction of an an all-inclusive “ALLstar Park” at the Timken Sports Complex. Fun Day, which featured a variety of entertainment and activities, raised more than $4,500.
Photo by Heather Nicholson Union County Fair Queens Hope Lupkin, Gracie Root and Taylor Austin pose for a picture with Miss USC-Union Lauren Mullis and Preteen Miss Miracle League Rylee Harris. These queens spent the day talking with children and making everyone feel welcomed at the “Music and Miracles Community Fun Day” held this past Saturday at the Union County Fairgrounds.
Photo by Heather Nicholson Children pose with Homer, The Miracle League Mascot, during Saturday’s “Music and Miracles Community Fun Day” at the Union County Fairgrounds. The event was sponsored by WBCU Radio to help the Miracle League of Union County raise funds for the construction of an an all-inclusive “ALLstar Park” at the Timken Sports Complex. Fun Day, which featured a variety of entertainment and activities, raised more than $4,500.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.