WAXAHACHIE

The Miracle League of Ellis County received another sizable donation Tuesday afternoon and is closing in on its goal of inclusion on the baseball diamond.

Dave McFadden, president of the Miracle League of Ellis County, said the $35,000 donation by The United Way of Western Ellis County coupled with sizable contributions from Walgreens, Citizens National Bank, the Slade Russo Foundation and the Rotary Club of Waxahachie, is all a "demonstration of the heart of this community."

McFadden admitted he was a little apprehensive when first asked to head the board for the league, but that all changed after a survey of every school district in Ellis County revealed there to be about 3,000 children with special needs.

"That's a significant number," he added. The local Miracle League now has 48 regular players and often more than enough "buddies" to go around.

Tuesday's check presentation moved the total money raised to turf Volentine Field at the Optimist Park to $143,000 of the $158,000 goal. Pro Turf Inc will head the project that will make the playing surface both ADA accessible and still compatible for tee-ball leagues sanctioned by the Waxahachie Youth Baseball Association.

"I'm very confident that we will be playing spring ball right here," McFadden told those in attendance from the pitcher's circle on Volentine Field. He added that the project to turf the field should begin sometime in the fall and will not remove any of the fencing or stands currently in place.

Alfred Vega, the chairperson of The United Way of Western Ellis County, said the league based on inclusion "warms" his heart. "I am so happy to just be a part of it."