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'Pitch It Forward' to help build Miracle Field

Matthew Lane • Aug 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — To help make the Miracle Field project a reality, supporters are encouraging you to challenge your friends and family to “Pitch It Forward” this summer.

It’s a quick and easy social media challenge aimed at raising awareness about the Miracle Field and to bring in some much-needed donations to help complete the project’s funding.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Kingsport plans to build a Miracle Field at Brickyard Park with the groundbreaking slated to take place this year. The project calls for the construction of a special baseball field, pavilion and all-accessible playground adjacent to the four regulation fields at Brickyard Park.

A Miracle Field is a baseball field built to accommodate special needs children. It’s about a third of the size of a normal field and instead of grass or traditional astroturf, the field has a flat, rubberized surface. The mound and all of the bases are flush, so wheelchair users and amputees don’t having to worry about obstacles and grass.

A public fundraising campaign is underway with about $1.8 million raised toward a goal of $2.56 million.

PITCH IT FORWARD

The Pitch It Forward campaign came about when Alderwoman Jennifer Adler suggested a social media challenge to publicize the Miracle Field project and raise donations for it. The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce then took the suggestion, came up with a tag line for the idea, and thus the challenge was born.

The challenge is rather easy. 1) Go to www.pitchitforwardkingsport.com and make a donation. 2) Find a baseball and a friend. 3) Video your friend tossing you the ball while talking about the project. 4) Post the video on social media, tagging and challenging your friends to participate. 5) Hashtag your post with #pitchitforwardkingsport and #buildthedreamkpt.

“The idea is to simply raise awareness and close the gap between the existing fundraising and what we have to have to make the Miracle Field a reality,” Adler said. “We’re still finding pockets of people who have never heard of it, so I think there’s a much broader group of support for this project.”

PERSONAL CONNECTION

Jud Teague, the executive director of Visit Kingsport, has been spearheading the project since its inception six years ago and has been leading the fundraising effort to make the Miracle Field a reality. Teague and his wife have an 11-year-old son, Nicholas, who was born with Down syndrome.

For Adler, the project also has a personal connection.

“I have a nephew who was born with Down syndrome and he started Pre-K this week,” she said. “For us, it’s a project we really believe in as a family. We’ve become much more aware of providing accommodations for children with needs and helping them live out their dreams and have a place to play too.”

If you would like to contribute to the project, contact Teague at (423) 392-8820 or visit www.kingsportmiraclefield.com.

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