~si_Carnival - Reimer
Second-year recreation and leisure services students are fundraising for Ottawa’s first Miracle League accessible park. Their special events class is putting on a winter carnival on Feb. 29 to raise money for the project

The Miracle League’s slogan reads, “Every child deserves to play the game of baseball.”

For children with disabilities, this can be a serious challenge. Normal baseball fields are often rough and uneven, making it hard for wheelchairs to navigate.

The Miracle League of Ottawa is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing kids with the opportunity to play baseball on accessible fields. And Algonquin’s second-year recreation and leisure service students have taken this dream to heart.

“Rec and leisure is about including everyone,” said Erin Byers, one of students in the program. Five of the students ran a fundraiser table in the Student Commons on Jan. 29, where they raised nearly $300.

Ottawa will open its first Miracle League field this summer. The $1-million project has been in the works for over a year. The students want to support the cause by putting on a winter carnival as part of their special events class.

Although the class didn’t need to make the event a fundraiser, they unanimously decided to do so. “We’re just trying to raise as much money as we can,” Byers said.

The carnival, called Miracle Madness, will be held in the C-courtyard on Feb. 26, with minute-to-win-it style games and prizes. All proceeds will go to the Miracle League of Ottawa.

“It’s such an amazing cause,” said Alyssa Dinicola, another recreation and leisure student. “We are helping out our local community.”

The accessible field is being built at Notre-Dame des Champs park in Orléans. It will have a cushioned rubber field to lessen injuries and provide a smooth playing surface. The bases will be painted on to create fewer obstacles for wheelchairs and walkers and the dugouts will be accessible. The park will also include a fully accessible play structure.