Proceeds from the organization's annual Tootsie Roll drive was contributed to the Miracle League during a check presentation held last week at the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Wheeling.
Members of Knights of Columbus were on hand to donate a check in the amount of $1,190 toward the planned Miracle League ballfield project, which aims to provide a synthetic playing surface safe for children and adults with disabilities to play on.
Bob Stahl, council director for that chapter, said they raised the money during their annual Tootsie Roll drive, which was actually a Tootsie Pop drive this year. He said members of the organization donated their time to collect donations in the area, and they also received donations from Our Lady of Peace parish.
Stahl said the money collected from the Tootsie Pop drive was sent to the Knights of Columbus in Charleston, where in turn, they sent 85 percent of the total money collected back to the local chapter where they were able to make a donation to the special needs organization of their choice. Stahl said this latest donation toward the Miracle Field is in addition to a $30,000 donation already made by the Knights of Columbus' state of West Virginia chapter.
Stahl said it was at a recent meeting that one of their members, Aladin Musilli, made a motion to donate the proceeds from this year's Tootsie Pop drive to the Miracle League ballfield.
"It just is so wonderful ... the Knights of Columbus, they have already donated $30,000, and how much we appreciate that they have come back and helped us with their Tootsie Roll fund to help a little bit more," said Lorraine McCardle, founder of the Miracle League of the Ohio Valley, who hopes to have thousands of children from the area participating in the league by next year. "This is what helps build our field, these nice donations."
Lorie Untch, chief executive officer and president of Easter Seals, said they are optimistic that ground will be broken for the ballfield sometime over the next "several weeks."
"We are hoping to have the project finished so the players will be able to enjoy it by next baseball season," said Untch.