Members of the Partnership to Build a Miracle have been working tenaciously for some time to turn a dream into reality.
That day is nearly here.
With the announcement that the group has won a $350,000 grant from the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, there’s now enough money in the bank to start construction on the ball field and park that will serve children and adults with special needs.
Though the facility will be located in Smithfield, it will serve children from all over Johnston County. There will be a ball field with a rubber surface to accommodate wheelchairs and walkways will be wide enough to handle the wheelchairs. Other features of the park will be constructed to address still more needs for those who need them, such as a wind chime garden for the visually impaired.
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The group still has to raise about $175,000, but the group says there is enough money available now to start building while the remainder is raised.
The facility figures to be a big asset for an under-served population in Johnston County that is, more often than not, voiceless when it comes to advocating for its own needs.
That the park is about to begin construction is a testament to many people, not the least of which are the members of the Partnership themselves. They have cobbled together money from a series of grants, fundraisers and other efforts. They’ve also rallied others in the community to support their vision and the park that will be constructed will enjoy widespread support from the entire community from day one. County commissioners have supported the project financially and the town of Smithfield served as the administrative applicant for the grant that put this project over the top.
It says a lot about a community when people rally around people less fortunate than themselves. It’s a fairly innocuous task to take a few cans of food to the local food pantry at Christmas time. It’s another thing entirely to turn a $1 million dream into reality. That’s about to happen. We hope you’ll be there for the first ball game.