PADNWS-11-27-21 FIELD OF DREAMS PIC

Breaking ground from left, Jason Darnall, Marshall County attorney; Kevin Spraggs, Marshall County commissioner; Monti Collins, Marshall County commissioner; Jason Jones, CFSB president; Kevin Neal, Marshall County judge-executive; Britney Hargrove, parks director; Willow Ross; Darren Smith, BFW Engineering; and Bobby Deitz, BFW Engineering.

DRAFFENVILLE — Since taking the reins of the Marshall County Parks department, Director Britney Hargrove’s passion has been to bring facilities to Marshall County and Mike Miller Park that will give those with disabilities a safe place to play and enjoy.

In August 2019, Hargrove announced the parks department was now affiliated with The Miracle League as “The Miracle League of West Kentucky.”

Miracle Leagues provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play Miracle League baseball, regardless of their disabilities. There are currently more than 300 leagues in five countries.

As part of that affiliation, a regional athletic field to serve those with special needs will be constructed on the undeveloped portion at Mike Miller Park in Draffenville.

The 47-acre tract of land, bought in 2016, lies to the left of the main entrance to the park and will soon house the CFSB Field of Dreams. Phase I will be a baseball field and parking lot. The field will be a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that will accommodate wheelchairs and other assertive devices while helping prevent injuries. Phase II will be a concession area and restrooms, and Phase III will be a totally inclusive playground, Hargrove said.

Ground was broken Nov. 18 in front of members of the Marshall County Fiscal Court, county employees, CFSB employees, the Marshall County High School baseball and softball teams and other friends and family. Construction is scheduled to begin this week, with the field being completed mid-summer 2022.

Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal welcomed the crowd.

“We all know that this project is 100% for the players, and not just Marshall County, this is a regional project. The families of the players are excited. I know that we’re going to have teams, multiple teams that are going to be participating. But this is truly a community event that we can all wrap our arms around,” he said.

“I think for me personally, one of the things I’m most excited about is, to see these athletes get to play, and I know we have a couple of our future Miracle athletes here today,” Hargrove said, introducing Lola Camp and her parents Brady and Alecia, and Willow Ross, daughter of Ethan and Jenna Ross. Willow spoke a few words telling of her love for baseball.

Of the $1 million price tag for Phase I, CFSB made a $400,000 donation in October 2019, giving the bank naming rights to the new field. The remaining amount has been raised from multiple donations and fundraisers.

“It’s not every day that you have a business in your community that will support something like this in such a huge way. It was a couple years ago that we received that $400,000 donation and that is just so huge, and I think that speaks so much to the heart of CFSB and the employees there.” Hargrove said.

CFSB President Jason Jones said the bank is proud to be a part of the community.

“Today we celebrate with everyone who has given their time, their money, any other resources to make this dream come to reality. Today we are excited that every athlete is going to have a chance to play and compete in front of their friends and their families. It’s something they could only dream of before. This is just going to add another spot of positivity, of fun and of light to this community that we already have,” he said.

“Today the CFSB Field of Dreams moves from a plan to an execution of what is ready to be done and all of the work that has gone on, we say ‘thank you,’ and we are excited to watch ballgames and events for many years to come,” Jones continued.

Funds are still being raised for the next phases of the project. Miracle League t-shirts and bracelets can be purchased at the visitors’ center at Mike Miller Park. Large sponsorships including signage at the field are also available. Donations can also be made by texting ‘miracleky’ to 44321. A link will be sent back to allow the donator to pay by credit card or Apple Pay.

For more information contact the parks department at 270-527-5284.

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