Wilmington's New Miracle League Project By The Numbers

By Evan Amezcua and Jenny Callison, posted Aug 1, 2013

NOTE: This is a corrected version of the story, which was posted originally on Thursday.

Wilmington’s new BRAX Stadium and PPD Miracle Field, which hosts its grand opening Saturday, will "change lives . . .  for seniors, Wounded Warriors, and children," according to L.S. “Bo” Dean, director of The Miracle League of Wilmington.

The Miracle League project consists of a playing field with bleachers, a field house and a playground – all universally accessible and designed to allow people with disabilities to enjoy outdoor play.

The Miracle League of Wilmington, a program of ACCESS of Wilmington, took shape when a local group formed to address the need for people with disabilities to participate in team sports and have fun on a playground. In 2008, the nonprofit organization ACCESS of Wilmington was established. It subsequently spun off The Miracle League, which will operate BRAX Stadium, PPD Miracle Field and the Kiwanis Miracle Playground.

Here are some numbers that help size up the project:

$2 million – price tag for the entire adaptive recreation facility and playground. Some costs, such as the contractor fee of about $60,000, were underwritten by providers.

$250,000-plus – leadership gift from Pete Hexter and Brax Ltd., which launched fundraising for the Miracle League in Wilmington and resulted in the naming of the stadium.

$200,000 – cost of new road built to the field. Road cost was shared by NCDOT, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County.

35,000 – square feet of the Miracle Field’s flat, rubberized playing surface designed for baseball but usable for other games, such as soccer, wheelchair field hockey and lacrosse.

4 – new field lights installed, donated by Musco Lighting. The lights’ estimated value is $50,000.

80,000 – southeastern North Carolina residents who are classified as disabled, according to Dan Johnson, president of Access of Wilmington. That’s about one in five people.

250 –Miracle Fields currently in existence in the world, including installations in Cary, High Point, Charlotte, Smithfield and Bunn.

500 – people (including children) who have volunteered their time and talents for the project.

The grand opening takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Olsen Park, 5510 Olsen Park Lane. Dignitaries expected to attend Saturday's grand opening include Wilmington mayor Bill Saffo and New Hanover County commissioners chairman Woody White as well as executives from PPD. Dan Johnson, chairman, and David Morrison, vice chairman, of ACCESS Wilmington and Wilmington Miracle League will also be present.

"Coach Larry Honeycutt will sing the national anthem, and the Laney and Hoggard high schools' marching bands will perform," Dean said.

Dean said the program will include unveilings of several recent gifts.

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