COVINGTON -- Efforts are still under way to build a Miracle League Field in Newton County.
Funds are being raised to pay for construction documents. The cost for that will be approximately $85,000; so far, about $58,000 has been raised, according to Tamara Richardson, a consultant who is applying for grants and heading up marketing efforts for the field.
The Miracle League of Newton County is operating under the auspices of the Recreation Commission to raise funds and awareness for the field, Richardson said. A 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization may be formed in the future, pending approval from the Recreation Commission and the Board of Commissioners, she said.
The construction documents are needed before a firm price on the project can be established, but right now estimates are at $1.7 million for the Miracle League Field as well as two other fields, a picnic and playground area and concession stand and restrooms.
Richardson said the two other fields will be for able-bodied children so the children using the Miracle field will have interaction with others.
"The Miracle League program buddies up Miracle League players with able-bodied children to help them run the bases. They call them 'angels in the outfield.' That way, they're playing right alongside each other and they are not isolated," she said.
Richardson said there are more than 2,400 mentally and/or physically disabled people from age 3 to 22 in Newton County, according to statistics provided by the Newton County School System.
"The field will hopefully be the first of other therapeutic recreation programs," she said.
Right now, the Miracle League is piggybacking on the nonprofit status of other local organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Covington and the Miracle League in Rockdale County, while applying for grants, Richardson said. Donations are tax-deductible through those partnerships.
Donations can be made payable to Miracle League, designated for Miracle League of Newton County, and mailed to the Newton County Recreation Commission at 6185 Turner Lake Road, Covington, GA 30014.