Our New Boston Project: Helping Mattapan’s Youth
August 7, 2009, 2:56 am
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Mattapan, a rapidly-growing area filled with 15,000 kids, has become Boston’s “forgotten” neighborhood.  At The Level Field Foundation, we haven’t forgotten.

Our next round of fundraising will support the completion of Walker Field at Norfolk Park.  The NFL has already made a contribution to this field, which will host the Mattapan Patriots’ football games, along with soccer and lacrosse matches — but more funds are needed.  Money is needed to fund the initial landscaping and irrigation of the field, along with the installation of goalposts and bleachers.  We hope to fill this gap, thanks to your generosity.

Youth violence has long been a major problem in Mattapan, but the Mildred Avenue Community Center has emerged as a safe-haven amongst a bleak climate, where gangs have been replaced by games.  We want to help fund this field, which is near the community center, to extend that positive change and provide further positive opportunities for some needy kids.

Mayor Menino recently announced a huge charitable initiative to aid athletics at Boston’s schools, a move we applaud.  However, Mattapan doesn’t have any high schools — all resident high school students are transported elsewhere — so this project gives us a unique opportunity to help the most underserved athletes.

In addition to no high schools, Mattapan lacks a single major business, but it houses countless churches.  In short, it’s an area of faith.  At the foundation, we have faith that this new field will provide much-needed fun and safety for Mattapan’s youth, and continue the positive trajectory of community development.  We hope that you’ll donate today and bring the joy of sports to Mattapan — giving its kids something that they’ll never forget.

Please consider donating today — every cent that you contribute will go towards making this field a reality.


The Miracle League Finds A New Home

Miracle League Banner

The idea came to Burke Adams, a man already established as a pioneer, in 2004. 

Having already formed a revolutionary series of sports leagues for disabled athletes in Upstate New York, Adams dreamt of giving them a place that was truly theirs — a field of dreams.  The skepticism came quickly and forthrightly – from outside cynics and, most painfully, close friends.  Even some of the disabled kids’ parents thought the field would never amount to more than a pipe dream.  An initial fundraising blast of 400 letters to well-stocked corporations netted a mere $1,100.  The vision looked to be impossible, and Burke was thought to be crazy.

On Saturday, a beautiful sun-drenched day in East Greenbush, NY, the “impossible” dream came to fruition.  Jaime M. Adams field, capable of hosting four different sports on a safe playing surface, finally opened its gates after five years of determined fundraising and unparalleled generosity from corporations and neighbors alike.

As Burke held onto a baseball bat with his beloved daughter Jaime, the field’s namesake who sat in her wheelchair beneath him, he looked to be proud, determined, and joyful — not at all crazy.  If anything, Burke Adams was crazy like a fox.  Indeed, as he guided Jaime’s hands to hit the first “pitch” on the field, sending a liner towards third base, he looked more like Jimmie Foxx.

“Play ball!”, he shouted triumphantly.  And they did…


Jean-Paul and I were privileged to be in attendance for the grand opening of the Capital Region Miracle League’s new field this weekend.  The weather was pristine, the sun shining, the media and politicians all around — but the day was fully and unmistakably about the kids. 

Nearly fifty kids with limited abilities and unlimited heart took the field during a series of three baseball games.  There were big hits, great plays in the field, and even the occasional swing-and-miss — but the smiling players and cheering fans ruled the day.  The fans of all six teams went home happy, and each of the players could be proud of how they performed.  What’s better, they are nomads no more, having been blessed with their own field to be the home base for their weekends and their memories.

The Level Field Foundation is proud to have made a meaningful contribution towards the costs of the field, and we hope to donate further in the future.  We captured a number of photos and some extensive video of this historic day, and we look forward to sharing these images with you in the days to come.  In the meantime, please check-out the Miracle League’s website and consider donating to The Level Field Foundation.

With your help, we can make more impossible dreams come true…