Washington, D.C., March 22, 2011 - The Washington Nationals, in association with the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation, today announced their partnership with the Miracle League of Montgomery County, the Kiwanis Club of Bethesda, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)’s Montgomery Parks Department, and the Montgomery County Recreation Department to construct the Washington Nationals Miracle Field in Germantown, Maryland.
“This partnership exemplifies both the Nationals’ commitment to the community and the Dream Foundation’s dedication to improving the lives of children in the Capital region,” Nationals Principal Owner and Dream Foundation Chair Marla Lerner Tanenbaum said. “We are proud to partner with these organizations to help make this field a reality for local children with special needs who will now have a place to play baseball.”
Scheduled to open this summer, the new field will be home to the Miracle League of Montgomery County, which provides children with mental and/or physical challenges the opportunity to play competitive baseball in a safe environment. Unlike typical baseball fields, this specially-designed field will incorporate a cushioned synthetic turf that allows children in wheelchairs and walkers to safely “run” the bases without fear of injury.
“This new field will give children facing tremendous challenges the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and play ball,” said Dr. Jim Leder, President of the Miracle League of Montgomery County and the Kiwanis Club of Bethesda. “We are proud to offer children of Montgomery County and beyond the resources to play the game of baseball.”
Construction of the venue, which was designed by Grace E. Fielder of GE Fielder Associates, will be funded in part by large contributions from the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Bethesda, and Montgomery Parks via their public-private partnership program. Through this program, Montgomery Parks and its partners have provided County residents with an array of facilities such as the Go Ape complex in Rock Creek Regional Park, the Red Wiggler Community Farm, the Maryland SoccerPlex, Great and Small, and the Jack Schore Tennis Center. The new Miracle League field will be located in South Germantown Recreational Park as part of the larger athletic complex that includes the Maryland SoccerPlex, a splash playground, a swim center, a miniature golf course and a driving range.
“The Miracle League project is a perfect example of how our public-private partnership program can successfully leverage private dollars to provide our residents with valuable and desired parks and recreation facilities,” Montgomery Parks Deputy Director Mike Riley said. “We would like to recognize the hard work and contributions of the Miracle League and all the others who helped make this project a reality - we are all looking forward to opening day!”
“The Department of Recreation enthusiastically ‘steps up to the plate’ to provide the programming for the Miracle League,” Department of Recreation Director Gabriel Albornoz said. “I am very pleased that the Department of Recreation is a partner in this dedicated collaborative work that will provide children with disabilities the opportunity to actively participate in baseball.”
Community members can support construction of the field by purchasing an engraved brick, which will be used to fill in the “stitches” of the baseball-shaped main plaza at the entrance of the Miracle Field. Bricks can be purchased for pre-construction rates starting at $250. For more information on contributing to the Washington Nationals Miracle Field, please contact Pat Tiede at email@example.com or visit www.miracleleaguemontcomd.com.
About the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation
The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Washington Nationals Baseball Club are committed to community partnerships that improve the lives of children and families across the Washington Capital Region. The Foundation's cornerstone programs are focused on children's education, health and recreation. A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation has committed to, among other projects, a partnership with the D.C. Government to build the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy to teach the game of baseball and provide after school educational programs for children in the DC region. For more information, visit nationals.com/dream.
About The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation
Established in 1986, The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation is a private family foundation run in consultation with all the members of the Lerner family. The foundation has contributed millions of dollars to numerous community, education, health, cultural and religious organizations in the DC area. Previous Lerner Family Foundation grant recipients include The George Washington University, the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Food and Friends, the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Hadley's Park, Imagination Stage, Georgetown Day School, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Weizmann Institute of Science, Hospitality High School of Washington DC, Hebrew University and many others.
About the Miracle League of Montgomery County
The Miracle League of Montgomery County is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides children with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team. The League will be the first of its kind in Maryland and will serve children in Montgomery County, the surrounding counties, Washington DC and Virginia. Presently there are 240 Miracle League Organizations across the country and in Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia. The Miracle League is proud to serve more than 200,000 children and young adults with disabilities.
About the Montgomery County Parks Department
Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), which was established in 1927 by Maryland State Law to protect, preserve, and program parkland for the residents of the bi-county area. Montgomery Parks is responsible for the management and stewardship of more than 400 parks on over 35,000 acres of parkland and a wide variety of park and recreation facilities including hundreds of miles of paved and natural surface trails, athletic fields, community gardens, picnic areas, lakes, streams, ice rinks, tennis courts, and playgrounds, among others. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.MontgomeryParks.org.
About the Montgomery County Recreation Department
The mission of the Montgomery County Department of Recreation is to provide high quality, diverse and accessible programs, services and facilities that enhance the quality of life for all ages, cultures, and abilities.
Washington Nationals: Joanna Comfort - Joanna.Comfort@nationals.com, (202) 640-7711
Montgomery Parks M-NCPPC: Kelli Holsendolph - Kelli.Holsendolph@MontgomeryParks.org, (301) 650-2866
Montgomery County Recreation Dept: Judy Stiles - Judy.Stiles@montgomerycountymd.gov, (240) 777-6875
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