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Posted: March 10, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Gospel concert to benefit Newton Miracle Field

Nearly $20K needed for construction documents

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Allison Durham Speer

The National Miracle League office in Conyers is hosting its 5th annual Southern Gospel Benefit Concert, but this year the group is partnering with Newton County to help make Newton's Miracle League field project a reality.

The concert will feature four prominent Christian musical groups, including the Alabama-based gospel quartet Gold City, the Talley Trio from East Tennessee, Jeff and Sheri Easter and their children and soloist Allison Durham Speer.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m., March 19, at Heritage Hills Baptist Church, located at 2987 Highway 212 in Conyers. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased at miracleleagure.com, by calling (770) 760-1933 or by visiting the Newton County Recreation Commission at the Turner Lake Complex. The Miracle League of Newton County will receive 50 percent of the proceeds.

To date, the local Miracle League organization has raised about $66,000 toward the $85,000 needed for the construction documents for the future Miracle League complex. The entire complex is expected to cost around $1.7 million, said Tamara Richardson, consultant for the Miracle League of Newton County. Phase 1 is expected to cost $500,000 and will include the actual field and the concession stand and restroom building.

"This fundraiser will definitely help us in closing the gap on the monies needed for construction documents," Richardson said. "The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter."

The Miracle League Field will be built at City Pond Park and will serve mentally and physically challenged children because "every child deserves the chance to play baseball." Richardson said that according to an April 2009 study by the Newton County School System, Newton has more than 2,400 special needs children and youth between the ages of 3 and 21.

"The need is great for a Miracle league Field -which will hopefully be the first of many future therapeutic recreational facilities in the county," she said.

Miracle League complexes typically include a custom-designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible dugouts and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players.

"We can do this if we get everybody involved, and we need to do this. It's awesome, it really is," Hailey said in a previous article. "They say the best one's in Dothan, Ala., but we're going to build the best one in Newton County."

Local sponsors for the gospel benefit include Beaver Manufacturing and Dr. William Dobbs. For more information on the Miracle League, visit www.newtonrecreation.com/miracleleague.


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