How the Miracle Happened

Introduced by Melinda McClendon – August 06 as a dream birthed as a result of watching a featured TV program concerning a Miracle Field that had been developed in a sister state. With a determination to turn that dream into a reality, Melinda McClendon pitched the idea to the The Dothan Rotary Club. Within the span of just a few weeks, the Dothan Rotary Board of Directors endorsed the campaign as Rotary project and the Miracle field planning group was organized. Almost immediately, an architect, and general contractor was identified, both of whom were active Rotarians. The Dothan-Houston County Rotary Club was invited to participate in the project, which they wholeheartedly accepted. With $150,000 from the Wiregrass Foundation, in addition to a $72,000 commitment from the City of Dothan, Rotarians agreed to step up to the plate and fund the remainder of the cost necessary to build what was to initially be a $500,000 Miracle baseball field.

What began as a venture to construct a field where mentally and physically challenged citizens could enjoy playing America’s favorite sport, soon expanded into the establishment of the Miracle Field Foundation that will fund the ongoing development and maintenance of the project. A total of $381,302 of in-kind services were contributed to the project along with $161,378 in monetary donations. The concept of constructing a very basic Miracle Field soon evolved into a decision to construct a Miracle Field Complex, to include two Dixie Youth fields which was supported by a $200,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Both Rotary Clubs identified some key elements of the project that supported fund raising opportunities.

A gifting campaign was organized that involved 3 levels of sponsorship. Contributions of $5,000 and above were recognized as Miracle Partnerships with engraved granite markers located at the base of one of the 22 Flags that graced the entrance of the Miracle Field. Contributions in the amount of $2500 - $4999 were recognized as Miracle Fellowships with engraved medallions located in the walkway that leads directly to the Miracle Field. The third level of sponsorship included contributions of $500 - $2499 and is recognized with the contributor’s name engraved on a granite wall that is located just inside the Miracle Field gate.

The Rotary Miracle Field project created a baseball field that accommodates the special needs of mentally and physically challenged citizens integrated in an existing City of Dothan Leisure Services complex. It serves as a sports centerpiece not only for the citizens of our community but for all those who visit. The Dothan and Dothan-Houston County Rotary Club members, in conjunction with the Miracle Field Foundation and Dothan Leisure Services, are now spearheading a drive to build an addition to the Rotary Miracle Field complex at Westgate Park. They are building a playground for special needs children. And so begins a $500,000 fundraising campaign to pay for the project. With the support of Rotary, the City of Dothan, the Miracle League Board, and corporate and individual sponsors, the Miracle Playground will become a reality.


Construction coordination efforts began with the City of Dothan and the Department of Leisure Services. The Miracle Field project was announced to the City Commissioners and general public on April 24, 2007. On April 30, groundbreaking ceremonies were held.


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