Play is one of the greatest gifts that children can receive and it is critical to their growth and development. Children deserve the opportunity to experience playground equipment and feel the ping of the bat and the wind on their faces as they move from base to base during a ball game.
More than 3,500 children with special needs between the ages of 5 and 15 live in Polk, Boone, Dallas and Story counties and more than 800 attend Ankeny Community Schools. Today, there is a lack of recreational facilities to meet the needs of our young special needs population as accessible playgrounds and the ability to participate in sports leagues are virtually nonexistent.
Since 2007, Ankeny Parks & Recreation and the Ankeny Kiwanis Club have partnered to offer “Super Kids”, a series of programs designed for our special needs community. They have also joined together again to create and construct a Miracle League Field & All-Inclusive Playground facility specifically designed for children with disabilities. The Miracle League Field & All-Inclusive Playground will cost $1.2 million. They will be co-located in Hawkeye Park in Ankeny and will provide children with special needs and their families:
Msgr. J.M. Hanson Council 5038 based at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Ankeny was approached in September 2012 to host a presentation at their October 2012 meeting. In January 2013, Grand Knight Ric Schuett challenged his fellow Brother Knights to raise $1000 by encouraging twenty of them to step up and donate $50 each. This challenge raised $3,150. Additional funds were raised by Ankeny’s Father Richard E. Gubbels Council 15603 and its home parish Saint Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church.
On 19 May 2013 the Iowa Knights of Columbus made a donation of $3150 from its People with Intellectual Disabilities Fund to the Ankeny Miracle League Field & All-Inclusive Playground.
L to R: District Deputy Jason Follett of Ankeny, State Treasurer Francis Schlueter of Ankeny, State Secretary Dan Werner of West Des Moines, State Deputy Joe Ramirez of Des Moines, Cole Quinlin of Ankeny, Council 5038 Grand Knight Ric Schuett of Ankeny, Tim Quinlin of Ankeny, State Warden Jon Aldrich of Altoona, Council 15603 Grand Knight Bob Lickteig of Ankeny, and Father Larry Hoffmann, Pastor of Saint Luke the Evangelist in Ankeny.
For more information on and how to donate to the Ankeny Miracle League Field & All-Inclusive Playground, visit http://www.ankenymiracleleague.com/.