Grand Opening for Field of Dreams

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017


Ribbon Cutting, Rotary Field of Dreams at UNOH

Written by: Carson Baymiller, UNOH Contributing Columnist

PLAY BALL! The road to the opening of the Rotary Field of Dreams at the University of Northwestern Ohio has been a long time coming. The idea for this amazing all-synthetic turf, handicap accessible field that offers children with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball was developed in 2003 by Rachael Staley and was finally made a reality on October 10, 2017.  The ribbon cutting ceremony officially happened and the Rotary Field of Dreams on UNOH’s campus is now open and ready to make a difference in the lives of disabled kids that now have a place to call their own. On this very memorable day I interviewed multiple people and asked them the simple question “What does this field mean to you?” I think their answers to this question speak so much more then any informational article that could be written about this Field of Dreams.

Michael Biery wears #8 for the Reds on the Allen County Abilities Baseball League. He is one of the athletes that will be playing on the Field of Dreams this spring. His face lit up with joy and enthusiasm when I asked him what this field meant to him.

“This field is going to make me a great baseball player, I will be able to hit so many homeruns and it will be a lot easier to run. When I play my first game on the field it will be the best day of my life!”   

Michael Biery’s Mother Robin Biery stated “I am very excited that this field is finally open, it is wonderful that we do not have to worry about cancellations and about the field conditions anymore.”

I then spoke with a couple UNOH athletes and asked them what this field meant to them.

“This field means opportunities for everyone,” says Grace Jackson UNOH varsity softball player. “It makes my heart happy seeing the huge smiles on everyone’s faces. This day is definitely one that I will remember for a long time”

Steven Amos a UNOH varsity baseball player said, “This field gives everyone the chance to play the sport that has given me so many great memories. By opening up this field it makes it that much easier for these children to create their own great memories. I cannot wait to attend and help out at some of the games in the spring.”

“Everyone involved in our program is very proud to be a part of UNOH everyday, however today was one of the highlights. Seeing UNOH's effect on the local community and the Abilities Baseball League was overwhelming and our program was very honored to be a part of such a great day," said Tracy Coffman, Head Coach of UNOH’s softball team, when asked what this field means to her.

Finally, I asked the woman who started it all, Rachael Staley, what this field means to her.  “Honestly, this is a hard question to answer because this field means so much to me, but the smile on the kids’ faces says it all. This dream is not only a dream come true for me but all the children that will be able to play on this field. Words cannot begin to describe how it feels to know all of these children have a place that meets all their needs to call their own.  It is simply amazing to see the Lima community step to the plate and create such a wonderful field.”

The Rotary Field of Dreams at UNOH is a beautiful addition to the rapidly growing UNOH campus. The field will forever be there to give children with disabilities the opportunity to play America’s favorite pastime and to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Hometown Stations Coverage of Ribbon Cutting

Category: Campus & Community, Athletics

Keywords: Field of Dreams, Rotary, Abilities Baseball League

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Last updated: 10/17/2017