Northville National Honor Society - Feb. 19, 2011

Northville National Honor Society

Benefit Dance for Miracle League of Plymouth

NorthvilleSenior Center, near the library

Saturday, Februrary 19, 2011

6:45 – 10:00 pm

 

Kevin Bain, President

Becky Pokrandt, Chairperson

 

Thank you

Becky Pokrandt & Northville National Honor Society

The Miracle Ball

 

This past summer, I was moved to tears while helping disabled children play baseball through an organization called the Miracle League in Southfield.  I was paired with a thirteen year old boy with Down syndrome named Hezekial, and I was to be his “buddy” for the game.  The Miracle League uses this buddy system to pair able-bodied volunteers with each disabled child, and as a buddy you help them bat, catch, and field.  Hezekial and I bonded right away, and he stepped up to the plate with confidence while smiling away and showing his muscles to the crowd.  He looked at me and said, “I’m going to hit this one way over the fence for you.”  He came close enough in my book—the ball hit the fence and bounced back in, but Hezekial seemed to ignore that aspect as he ran those bases faster than I could keep up beside him.  As he headed for home plate, his smile was larger than life.  He hopped onto the base and pulled me in for a hug while jumping around basking in the glory of his success.  Of course, I could not hold back my tears in seeing Hezekial’s confidence and genuine delight. 

 

                The abundance of strength and happiness in Hezekial moved me that day, and I made a promise to myself that I would find a way to help more disabled children smile like Hezekial because as the Miracle Leagues’ motto says, “Every child deserves the chance to play baseball.”  Luckily enough for our community, there is a project in Plymouth underway to build a new Miracle League field behind Central Middle School.  These fields are not your ordinary baseball field; rather, they are made out of cushioned synthetic turf that can accommodate wheelchairs and are generally much safer.  These fields come at no cheap expense—the construction and maintenance costs are roughly $1.1 million.  The community has come together and raised about three fourths of this goal, but a quarter million dollars is still needed.  Remembering Hezekial’s smile, I knew I needed to help.

 

                I decided I would plan a benefit dance, and I thought of the perfect play on words to name the dance—the Miracle Ball—ball as in baseball, and ball as in a dance!  I knew exactly where to take my idea to help turn it into reality—Northville’s National Honors Society.  They loved the idea, and then the many hours of planning began.  National Honors Society officer Bridget Dunn came to the rescue to help with the planning, and luckily the date we picked for the dance, February 19, was the only Saturday night not booked at the Senior Center for months.  My luck continued as everything for the dance just seemed to fall into my lap: it was like a greater force wanted me to succeed.  By a chance meeting, DJ Paul Anthony offered to DJ for free, and Mr. Watson the school Principal agreed to insure the dance.  Better yet, local businesses agreed to sponsor the dance in return for publicity.  With the help of Le George, B. Ella Bridal, and Craig David Butler Studios, all of the base costs were covered.  Sweet 220 donated a beautifully decorated sheet cake, and Solid Grounds CoffeeHouse generously donated refreshments.  The whole community really came together to help make the Miracle Ball a night to remember.

 

                When the night of the Miracle Ball arrived, the wonderful decoration planning by Marisa Sourges and Charli Migoski transformed the Senior Center into a glowing wonder with the assistance of twenty National Honors Society members.  Ornaments were hung from the ceiling, balloons were weighted down with baseballs, icicle lights were strung, streamers were twisted down the walls, and finally, set up was complete.  Now for the real fun—the dance!  About one-hundred Northville students attended and everyone had a blast.  The photo booth set up in the hall was a favorite to many, and of course the cake and coffee was a huge hit.     

 

Many parents gave up their time to chaperone the Miracle Ball, and Officer Snider, Northville High School’s police officer, donated his time to make sure everything was under control.  Tear down proved to be fairly painless with the help of a new batch National Honors Society volunteers.  It truly was a miracle to see so many people come together to make this event possible. 

 

Together we raised $1,000 for the Miracle League of Plymouth, and hopefully with our help, more children, no matter what their disability, will have the opportunity to experience the joy of scoring a homerun, playing in the outfield, and most importantly, being a part of a team.  

-Becky Pokrandt

NorthvilleHigh SchoolSenior