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Miracle League gets $10,000 donation

Special Photo: Deanne Barnes, president of Evans Metal Stamping Inc. and Evans Tool and Die Inc., second from left, presents a $10,000 check to Miracle League of Newton County Chairman Dick Schulz, left; Miracle League athlete Taylor Bradley; Tamara Richardson, consultant to the Miracle League; and Tommy Hailey, Director of the Newton County Recreation Commission.

Special Photo: Deanne Barnes, president of Evans Metal Stamping Inc. and Evans Tool and Die Inc., second from left, presents a $10,000 check to Miracle League of Newton County Chairman Dick Schulz, left; Miracle League athlete Taylor Bradley; Tamara Richardson, consultant to the Miracle League; and Tommy Hailey, Director of the Newton County Recreation Commission.

COVINGTON -- The Miracle League of Newton County just got a gigantic boost in its efforts to build a baseball field for special-needs children.

Evans Metal Stamping Inc. and Evans Tool and Die Inc. in Conyers has donated $10,000 to the nonprofit.

"In these tough economic times it was just such a surprise, and it was just so generous," Miracle League consultant Tamara Richardson said.

Evans CEO and President Deanne Barnes attended the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, a fundraiser for the Miracle League, earlier this year and after hearing a short presentation on the project, Barnes approached Richardson and asked for more information. Richardson and Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey met with Barnes over the summer to provide more details.

Then, they got the surprise news that the company was donating $10,000. It was much welcome news for a nonprofit whose volunteers have worked hard holding fundraisers for the past two years and repeatedly stressed the importance of every dollar donated.

"We could not have been more thrilled. It shows there are kind-hearted, generous people out there," Richardson said.

The field is planned for City Pond Park to serve the nearly 2,500 special- needs children in the local school system. The rubberized turf field will also be used for golf, bowling and other sports.

The project will also include playgrounds especially designed for special-needs children, though all children can enjoy them.

Two tee league fields will be created on either side of the Miracle Field, for children ages 4 to 6, who are running out of space on the current fields at City Pond.

The estimated $2 million project will be mostly funded through the special purpose local option sales tax, with an allocation of $1.5 million, and private donations. It could be years before sufficient tax revenues are collected to begin work on the field, so volunteers are striving to raise as much in private donations as possible in an effort to begin construction sooner, Richardson said. The Miracle League also recently received a $5,000 grant from Snapping Shoals' Operation Round-Up program and raised $8,600 at the Miracle League Classic Baseball Tournament in late August.

For more information, about Miracle League call 770-786-4373, ext. 14, or email trichardson@co.newton.ga.us.