The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 28, 2013

Our View: Will Norton Miracle Field a place for all to play

The Joplin Globe

— Let’s play ball. No, make that let’s ALL play ball. Thanks to Rotary clubs around the world, anyone from age 5 to 20 with a disability and who lives in the area now has a field.

Specifically, they will have the Will Norton Miracle Field. Norton, a Joplin High School graduate whose bright life ended shortly after he accepted his diploma, was killed on May 22, 2011, in the EF-5 tornado. His father, Mark Norton, is a Joplin Rotarian.

The field was built by Joplin’s two Rotary clubs with the donations received after the tornado.

Now, registration has opened for the first season of baseball. That in itself seems like a miracle given the struggle Joplin has faced since May 2011.

Players and volunteers may register online at Players also may be enrolled at Sign Up Saturday, an event on March 9 at Missouri Southern State University in which children can be enrolled in sports activities.

It is efforts like these — and the many others that are only now being completed — that help us move forward but still remember those we lost.

There are an estimated 4,000 youths in the area who would be eligible to use this field because of a disability. The season starts on April 27.

Everyone gets up to the plate. Everyone gets on base, and everyone gets to score.

If you are looking for a place where your volunteer efforts can go a long way toward making a difference in the life of a child, we think this project hits that ball right out of the park.

Through the work of many, lives will be made better.