HR Derby supports special field in Plymouth

Posted: July 23, 2010 HR Derby supports special field in Plymouth
BY ROKEYTA ROBERSON FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

· It all started in a class about American Culture and Baseball at Plymouth Salem High this past school year.

That's where classmates Natalie Zazula and Chris Kordick came up with an idea that would help bring America's favorite pastime to individuals who were once excluded from baseball because of disabilities. Zazula, 17, and Kordick, 18, decided to use the community's love of baseball -- and home runs in particular -- to help the Miracle League of Plymouth raise money for the construction of a new rubberized baseball field in Plymouth for children with mental and physical disabilities. "We have a passion for baseball and for giving back to the community," Zazula said.

"We want to give everyone the opportunity to experience this sport." Zazula, Kordick, Miracle League of Plymouth and the Rotary Club of Plymouth A.M. have teamed up to present the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Home Run Derby. The derby will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at Salem's varsity baseball field. Organizers expect 12 hitters to participate. Each is an alum of Canton, Plymouth or Salem high schools.

Spectators can donate through a private auction as well as pledging for each home run hit. The hitters' registration fees of $25 each will go toward the organization as well. "We want everyone who attends or participates in this event to know how important their impact is to this organization," said Debra Madonna, co-chairperson of the Miracle League of Plymouth.

The derby and the field construction are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Plymouth A.M., which focuses on promoting community involvement to better the local area and help those in need.

It is also the largest contributor to the Miracle League of Plymouth. The Miracle League expects the field, which is slated for an April 2011 groundbreaking, to cost about $1.1 million. Nearly half that amount has been raised so far, Madonna said. "The derby will provide a great setting for the community to become involved with the Miracle League of Plymouth," Zazula said. "Now the community gets a chance to learn more about the goals of this organization."

http://www.freep.com/article/20100723/SPORTS18/7230305/1066/Sports18/HR-Derby-supports-special-field-in-Plymouth

CORRECTION: Rotary Club of Plymouth A.M. is the sponsor of the Miracle League of Plymouth, not the largest contributor.