West Metro Miracle League – who are we?
The West Metro Miracle League (WMML) is a charitable organization that provides super special children in the west metro, ages 3 – 19, with ANY cognitive and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball. WMML is located and fully integrated in the Bennett Family Ballpark in Minnetonka, MN. Bennett Family Park is the home of seven baseball diamonds that accommodate Tee Ball through Little League and Babe Ruth. It is only fitting that the newest addition to the ballpark is WMML.
Why are we different?
· Our Miracle League teams play amidst all the other leagues every Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at Bennett Family Park. Sorry if we get too loud – we tend to be a little kooky and have way too much fun!
· We get to play on the official Subway Restaurants – Harmon Killebrew Field, a Miracle League Field sponsored by the Minnesota Twins, Harmon Killebrew and Subway. This special baseball field includes a ½ “ thick rubber field to enable kids to get around the bases safely.
What are the rules for each player?
· Everyone hits.
· Everyone gets on base.
· Everyone crosses home plate.
· Everyone wins.
· Everyone can be paired with a 1:1 volunteer buddy (if needed)
· Everyone gets a treat ticket after each game to go to the concession stand.
· Everyone gets a medal at the end of the year.
EVERYONE HAS FUN!
Thanks to the Bennett Family Park Board (for having the vision in the first place), ETLL, MGSA, TBR, South Tonka LL, the WMML Board and so many sponsors, contributors, buddies and volunteers. Also thank you to Kevin Thoreson, Miracle League kingpin and dad of two special kids, who has led the charge to build Miracle League fields in Blaine, Woodbury, Lakeville, St. Cloud, LaCrosse, Duluth and many more!
We are making a difference touching special players and families that travel to BFP from places like Hutchinson, Shakopee, Edina and Orono, and we are creating memories for not only these players and families but also the community buddies (typically other ball players ages 10 – 16) and volunteers! THANK YOU!
Here is our progress since 2008!
- 33 players and 4 teams and played on Field 5 (dirt field) at Bennett Family Park in Minnetonka.
- 250 community buddies and volunteers participated.
- 100 players and 8 teams play on new Subway Restaurants Harmon Killebrew Field at Bennett Family Park with our official rubber surface and fully accessible park.
- 600 buddies and volunteers participate.
- We had a great dedication event with Subway food, great celebrities and Harmon himself in attendance!
- 20 kids attended our first ever Spring Training clinic hosted by Head Coach Paul Twenge and his Minnetonka High School Skipper baseball team as buddies in the MHS dome.
· 120 players and 10 teams, Jacob Ungerman, a 14 year old from Hopkins, sponsors one of our teams.
· 50 MHS football players held fundraiser to sponsor a team.
· 750 buddies and volunteers participate.
· We get a new scoreboard due in large part to several Rotarian groups in the west metro and the fundraising efforts of the Garibaldi 3 x 3 basketball tournament (an annual event in honor of Chris Garibaldi)
· 35 kids attend our second annual Spring Training clinic at MHS.
· The St. Paul Saints chose us to do a “spotlight game” at BFP
· Played 2 weekends of fall ball in September (the Race for the Pennant) sponsored by Accurate Home Health and Subway Restaurants.
· 135 players, 10 teams (they are big!)
· St. Paul Saints came again on May 10th at 6:30. This has become an annual event. I think they like us!
· A teenage sibling of one of our players saves up all year to donate $50 to WMML to provide sponsorships to families that are having a rough time this year.
· 45 kids attended the 3rd annual Spring Training clinic at MHS
· WMML changes it’s name to West Metro Miracle Athletics (WMMA). Under WMMA we still have our WMML baseball league, and we added another great program - iCanHoop. iCanHoop is the brainchild of Julie Hagen, a WMML coach, whose son Lucas loves basketball in the off season. So a new program is born with over 50 super special kids that played adaptive basketball Feb – April at St. Theresa’s Church gym. Same concept: fundamentals, fun and friends. Fall league (Oct - Nov) - we had 75 kids and played at Minnewashta Elementary School. Pediatric Home Services and Thrivent Community Crossroads were sponsors (THANK YOU!) The old adage is true “if you build it, they will come!”
· 132 players, 12 teams for WMML, 60 kids attend 4th annual Spring training clinic at MHS. will need about 1000 buddies and volunteers for WMML. Check out our website at www.westmetromiracleleague.org under volunteers needed to see how you can help to be announcers or directors of the day. St. Paul Saints coming on May 8th, DQ Day on June 16th.
· iCANHoop has 50 kids play winter ball (March - April) at Chan Rec Center. We think we found our new home. Thrivent Community Crossroads and Lake Minnetonka Rotarians - Excelsior donate proceeds from annual rose sale! We are set! THANK YOU!
You can always check us out at www.westmetromiracleleague.org