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Posted: February 11, 2009 5:27 p.m.

Rotary, Kiwanis team up for Miracle Field fundraising efforts

Submitted illustration/

Community leaders met Tuesday at the Newton County Recreation Center to discuss the ongoing process of bringing a Miracle League baseball field to the county.

Doug Bolton, president of the Rotary Club of Covington pledged his support of the program and announced the Rotary Club will be the financial vehicle through which the funding and donations for the park will flow.

"It may take a little while as we are all well aware of the current economic state, but if it takes a year, two years, three years or whatever, we are going to get this done," Bolton said. "Hopefully it won't take three years, but we will get this done."

The Rotary Club of Covington is following in the footsteps of the Rotary Club of Conyers, which handled the fundraising and donations for the Miracle League field in Rockdale County.

"It's not a matter of money. We have the money," Bolton said. "It's just in the pockets of all those people that are out there."

In addition, Bill Loeble, the president of the Covington Kiwanis Club, pledged to join forces with Rotary and work together to bring in corporate sponsors and work with the city on securing grants.

"We are happy to partner with Rotary," Loeble said. "Sometimes people look at us as competitors, but we've been to each other's clubs and spoken. We are proud to partner with Rotary on this project. B.C. Crowell has been a longtime member of Kiwanis and if nothing else, were are going to do this for him."

Bolton said his organization has contacted several corporate sponsors, but chose not to elaborate as he cautioned everything is in the discussion phase. Nevertheless, the Rotary Club has extensive experience in raising funds and will be able to use its expertise when trying to secure grants through nonprofits.

Chris Camp, president of Lose & Associates Inc. revealed the preliminary rendering of the field which will be located next to the tennis courts at City Pond Park in Covington.

The sketch shows three fields, one equipped for special needs athletes and two for youth baseball.

The primary goal of the Miracle League field complex is to integrate special needs athletes with other youths in the community to foster confidence as well as acceptance.

The city of Covington has agreed to donate the land where the Covington Police shooting range currently sits on City Pond.

While Newton County Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey stopped short of giving an estimate on the cost, he did say it would "be a big number."

Camp estimated the project, if bid out with no auxiliary support from the city or any private sources, would be in excess of $2 million.

He did add that several of the Miracle League complexes that are popping up across the country have received extensive support from the community and such things as trees and sod are typically donated or paid for by residents who wish to donate money.

No time table has been set on the next phase of the project which would include drawings and preliminary land inspections.


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