Tornado Damaged Kids' Ballfield In Mercer County

A tornado damaged an accessible baseball field in Mercer County last month and the public has been rallying to help get their season back on track.

Opening Day at Miracle Field on Saturday, May 6.
Opening Day at Miracle Field on Saturday, May 6. Photo Credit: Miracle League of Mercer County

The rubberized field, capable of being used by wheelchairs and walkers, is enjoyed by about 200 special needs kids from the region. 

An F-1 tornado cancelled opening day in April, and delayed the start of the season until last Saturday, May 6, according to officials at the Miracle League of Mercer County.

The bleachers collapsed. And the rubberized surface in the outfield was damaged by the tornado. Repairs have cost at least $10,000 so far, said Dan Sczweck, executive director.

"The storm has accelerated the process," Sczweck said of a need for upgrading the facility. 

The 18-year-old field and facilities were resurfaced and upgraded for about $30,000 five years ago.

Rishi Bajaj of Princetown Junction, a junior at West Windsor - Plainsboro High School South, organized this GoFundMe page to help restore the field. 

"The field, a symbol of hope and inclusion, now requires extensive repairs, including a complete surface rebuild," Bajaj said.

Bajaj wrote, "Today, I'm reaching out to all of you with a heartfelt plea, filled with hope, determination, and a belief in the power of our community to create a profound impact in the lives of those who need it most."

"He's doing a wonderful thing," Sczweck said of Bajaj.

As a volunteer with The Miracle League of Mercer County the past two years, Bajaj said he has "witnessed the incredible power of baseball to bring immeasurable joy and happiness to children with special needs. These children face daily challenges that most of us can only imagine, and yet, on the baseball field, they find solace, belonging, and a sense of purpose."

Initially, his intention for this fundraiser was to address the pressing need for improvements to the accessible restrooms.  "However, our mission has become even more urgent and complex," he said.

"We're now faced with the challenge of resurfacing the field, ensuring that there are no further delays or missed opportunities for these incredible children."

"Your contribution, no matter the size, will be a beacon of hope, bringing back laughter, smiles, and the unbreakable spirit of the Miracle League," Bajaj said.

Click here to view or donate to the GoFundMe.

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