DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Downtown Des Moines Kiwanis Club is asking the community to step up to the plate and help pay for a new surface at the Miracle league at Principal Park. The old surface is starting to pull apart, and it needs to be redone.
The Kiwanis Miracle League is a game changer for kids with disabilities.
"When they made the Miracle League years ago, they saw this giant need," said Justin Brady, a board member of the Downtown Des Moines Kiwanis Club. "A lot of kids want to play baseball, but some kids who may have a disability, they can't."
But thanks to the Miracle League, they can.
"You see kids that come here and they get to do something that previously they didn't think they would ever be able to do," said Brady.
And that's why the Miracle League exists: so kids with disabilities can get into the game and participate in America's pastime.
Getting the Kiwanis Miracle League at Principal Park built in 2008 was a major win.
"You're looking at a two and a half million dollar field," said Brady. "It took a lot of money to get this thing going and they didn't want to do this cheap, dirt field that was, you know, not very fancy."
Members of Des Moines Kiwanis and their partners hit a home run on that front; the ballpark has a great view, concession stands, bleachers, and a dugout area for the players. The field itself is rubberized and designed so children with walkers and/or wheelchairs can get around the bases efficiently, without getting snagged on anything. But the field has a shelf life, and its time has come to an end.
"This rubber's just starting to pull away," explained Brady. "Basically, this is a roll out field design, glued down, and the new field will be, this will all be stripped up and ripped up and the new field will be poured, so there won't be any of this breakage here."
But money is needed to pay for the new surface.
"Raffle tickets are $10 a piece," said Brady. "It's for two people to go anywhere in the world, for dinner, on us."
The project is expected to cost between $150,000 and $200,000. If you want to make a donation, click here.