UNION — The Miracle League of Union County is more than $1,800 closer to meeting a $60,000 challenge and is hoping to be even closer by this evening.
Earlier this year, Union County Council voted unanimously to allow the league to use Field No. 1 at the Timken Sports Complex.
Before the league can use the field it must be modified for the special needs athletes that will be playing on it. The modification will involve the installation of a completely flat, low-impact surface that will support any mobility aid including walkers and wheelchairs. The modification is projected to cost approximately $250,000.
In October, the Timken Family Foundation of Canton, Ohio, awarded a $25,000 grant to the league which will go toward the cost of modifying the field.
The Foundation also issued a challenge to the people of Union County to raise another $60,000 for the league by Aug. 13, 2013. If the challenge amount is raised by that time, the foundation will match it with another $60,000.
As of the beginning of last week, the league had raised $20,000 of the challenge amount.
By the beginning of this week, the amount raised had grown to nearly $22,000 thanks to fundraisers held by Tubozzzz, a local restaurant, and the Union Civitan Club.
Located at 200 S. Gadberry St. in Union, Tubozzzz is owned by David “Tubo” Owens who pledged 10 percent of all sales from Nov. 12-16 to the league.
The fundraiser was organized by Sheri Nash, the restaurant’s manager, who also pledged to donate any and all tips she received during the week. Nash said Tuesday that the restaurant raised a total of $1,081.55 for the league.
“It was great,” Nash said. “I want to thank all the volunteers who came in and helped. I want to thank all my employees for their hard work. I just want to thank everyone who came in and supported us, it was a great turnout.”
The effort to help the league meet it challenge goal continued Saturday with the Civitan Club’s second annual “Christmas at the Mansion” at the Nicholson Mansion. The event grew out of the club’s involvement with local organizations that serve the special needs community and the location was suggested by the mansion’s owner Lynne Mornane, herself a Civitan.
For the price of admission to the event, participants got lunch, a tour of the first floor of the mansion, and photos taken of them and their families with the option of having Frosty the Snowman pose with them. The photos were then pressed onto a CD at the mansion and given to the participants.
Amy Austin, Civitan member and league executive director, said that Christmas at the Mansion raised $725.
“It was a great day,” Austin said. “We had beautiful weather and the children who came to have their pictures taken were precious. They had a good time and enjoyed their picnic on the patio.
“We want to thank Food Lion for donating the chips and drinks,” she said. “I want to thank Angel Foster of Little Angels Studio for donating her time. She’s another one of our angels in the outfield as she is always there when we need her.”
A third fund-raising event is being held today in the parking lot of the Union County Stadium where chicken stew will be sold from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“It’s Tommy Sinclair’s chicken stew,” Austin said. “He and Neil Valentine are the head cooks and they are being assisted by Tubo Owens, Tiffany Littlejohn, Kevin Shropshire, Becky Cobb, Brad Jolly, Kathie Sinclair, Jessica Gallman, Robert Hill Dalton Williams and myself.
“We are asking for minimum donation of $6 a quart,” she said. “All you have to do is drive through the stadium parking lot to pick up your chicken stew.”
Austin said tickets for the stew were still being sold Tuesday with a total of 300 quarts already sold. She said that persons who do not have a ticket might still be able to buy stew at the parking as extra will be made.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.