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Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley joins Goodwill

MENASHA — The Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley has become a program of Goodwill NCW, marking Goodwill’s 29th program in its 35-county region.

Miracle League gives children ages 4-19 with cognitive and/or physical disabilities the opportunity to play baseball in an organized, noncompetitive league on a safe, accessible field with a synthetic surface. Each player is paired with a buddy who assists in hitting, rounding the bases and having fun.

It’s about making new friends, building self-esteem and getting treated just like other kids.

“We are thrilled to help make a positive difference for the families of the Chippewa Valley,” said Bob Pedersen, Goodwill NCW’s president and CEO. “We’re big fans of Miracle Leagues.

“When you see how the program affects the players, their families and the dozens of volunteers who support the program, you know what a profoundly good thing this is, and how it speaks to our mission to elevate people and transform communities.”

In approving the addition of the program Tuesday, Goodwill NCW’s board of directors also approved a $100,000 donation to the capital campaign, to build a field in Eau Claire. The exact location and cost of the specialized field will be determined soon, with play to begin in late spring/early summer of 2017.

The Chippewa Valley program joins Goodwill NCW’s Miracle League programs in the Fox Valley (field in Appleton) and Lakeshore (Manitowoc). Miracle League of the Fox Valley became a Goodwill program in 2009 followed by Miracle League of the Lakeshore in 2014.

Each game is two innings long. Everyone plays, everyone bats, everyone wins. Volunteers serve as season-long buddies, coaches and umpires.

A steering committee and capital campaign committee have been formed in the Chippewa Valley, but more input is welcome, according to Amy Standiford, co-chair of the steering committee.

“We’re happy to hear from anyone interested in making our Miracle League a success,” Standiford said. “It will take the efforts of many parents, volunteers and donors, working together, to create this field and this opportunity for the kids of the Chippewa Valley.”

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization headquartered in Menasha, serving more than 63,000 people each year through 29 programs and services, plus dozens of sponsorships and community partnerships across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 26 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, as well as a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store. It offers eight Donation Express sites and 45 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Goodwill NCW is a member of Goodwill Industries International and Rehabilitation for Wisconsin. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

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