RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – A young man’s dream to help others is coming to life.
The City of Ridgeland held a groundbreaking for Central Mississippi’s first Miracle League Field and it all began with a very determined 15-year-old boy.
“You think about the kids that could benefit from it and that’s what you use as motivation.”
Joseph Voynik hit a home run when he decided to build a baseball field for children and adults with disabilities right in Ridgeland.
“I’m so proud of him because you know a lot of us have really good ideas but we don’t act on them and so he wasn’t going to take no for an answer; he was very determined and wanted to see it happen,” said Tammy Voynik, Joseph’s mother.
Josephs’ mom has spent the majority of her life confined to a wheelchair.
Joseph says he combined his admiration for his mother’s strength and his love of baseball to come up with this.
“She’s a great inspiration to me because she’s just, she doesn’t really let it get her down or anything she just done great,” said Joseph.
“He saw the fun and excitement that happens on a Miracle League Field and he wanted to be part of that and when he saw it wasn’t here, he thought well we really need that here and so I think it’s just his kind heart that he wants to see and help other kids enjoy baseball which he loves,” said Tammy.
But when 12-year-old Joseph approached Chris Chance with Ridgeland Parks and Recreation, he admits he had his doubts.
“To be quite frank with you was a little bit reserved about it,” said Joseph.
“Kind of unheard of quite frankly; I mean it really is, it just shows that to me that the entire project is blessed,” said Chris Chance, the Director of Ridgeland Parks and Recreation.
The specialized field will give those with disabilities the ability to play on a flat, rubberized surface, safe for people in wheelchairs.
It will also have larger dugouts to accommodate everyone.
The Miracle League of Mississippi has raised more than 80 percent of the $450,000 budgeted for this project.
It is expected to be completed in 2017.