Michele Vigneux

Miracle League golf tournament has no trouble attracting golfers

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Miracle League of Amherstburg held its annual golf tournament last Saturday afternoon with it attracting more golfers than ever before.

“We had more than a full house,” said Michele Vigneux, a board member and publicity director for Miracle League. “We’ve had to turn away more than a few teams. It’s a good problem to have.”

The total amount raised from the tournament won’t be known for a few weeks, according to Vigneux, but she said they were aiming to raise over $10,000. She said the proceeds from this year’s tournament will go towards the installation of a wheelchair accessible swing at the accessible playground next to the Miracle League diamond.

“We’re hoping, if we can raise enough money, that we can get it installed this fall,” she said. “That’s the goal.”

The swing, known as a Liberty Swing, costs $48,000 though the league has received $8,000 in cash donations and $17,500 in in-kind services. The remaining $22,500 comes from the Miracle League’s funding, which includes proceeds from such events as the golf tournament.

Special Olympian Kyle Spearing was part of Team Amherstburg for last Saturday’s Miracle League golf tournament at Sutton Creek Golf Club. From left: Miracle League publicity director/board member Michele Vigneux, CAO John Miceli, Spearing, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Miracle League board president Chuck Bondy, Libro Centre operations director Sandy Lindsay.

Special Olympian Kyle Spearing was part of Team Amherstburg for last Saturday’s Miracle League golf tournament at Sutton Creek Golf Club. From left: Miracle League publicity director/board member Michele Vigneux, CAO John Miceli, Spearing, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Miracle League board president Chuck Bondy, Libro Centre operations director Sandy Lindsay.

Word has gotten around about Miracle League and the golf tournament. Vigneux said people know the money is going to a good cause and there were a lot of good prizes. Mike Bondy, a board member and volunteer with Miracle League, was able to secure a number of prizes including one week at a luxury home in Florida and trips to Cape Cod, Agawa Canyon, Washington and a condo in Shanty Creek.

Despite numerous donations throughout the year, the Miracle League doesn’t do any of its own fundraising except for the golf tournament.

“It’s our only fundraiser,” said Vigneux. “We hope to get the biggest bang for our buck as we can.”

Vigneux added it was the first year Mayor Aldo DiCarlo golfed in the tournament. He was joined by Special Olympian Kyle Spearing, CAO John Miceli and Libro Centre operations manager Sandy Lindsay.

“We’re really thankful to have everyone’s support,” Vigneux added. That includes new and returning golfers and sponsors.

“Everything we do is for the players and the league,” added Chuck Bondy, president of the Miracle League’s board of directors.

Bondy thanked all involved and stated “we couldn’t do this without all of the players and the volunteers are unbelievable.”

The fall season for the Miracle League of Amherstburg starts Sept. 9. For more information on Miracle League, visit www.amherstburgmiracle.com or call 519-919-4641.

Miracle League returns for 2016 spring season

 

 

What would a day at Miracle League be without the YMCA dance? The players and mascots enjoy it during the first game of the day last Saturday.

What would a day at Miracle League be without the YMCA dance? The players and mascots enjoy it during the first game of the day last Saturday.

By Ron Giofu

 

Spring has finally arrived and the Miracle League of Amherstburg has returned with it.

The spring season of Miracle League got underway last Saturday at their diamond at the Libro Centre with nine teams playing four games – three teams combined to play one game due to the uneven number of teams – during the day-long event.

Miracle League publicity director Michele Vigneux said the Miracle League is up to 150 players with several more on a waiting list.

Abbi-Lynne Dufour heads for home as Hunter the Miracle League Mascot cheers her on.

Abbi-Lynne Dufour heads for home as Hunter the Miracle League Mascot cheers her on.

“We continue to get more players,” she said. “We may have to look at expanding but now we can accommodate players on nine teams.”

Many of the players are returning from past seasons, she added, though there are a number of new players as well.

“We’re always happy to have new players,” said Vigneux, noting they also get to experience the opportunity to play baseball.

The engagement of Samantha Kellam and Essex-Windsor EMS paramedic Chris Jaber was also announced at Miracle League. Essex-Windsor EMS provides medical services for Miracle League.

The engagement of Samantha Kellam and Essex-Windsor EMS paramedic Chris Jaber was also announced at Miracle League. Essex-Windsor EMS provides medical services for Miracle League.

Vigneux added that people keep finding out about Miracle League and the interest from new people is ongoing.

The Miracle League is also hoping to maintain support from sponsors and volunteers, as more are welcome. Vigneux stated they had to increase the cost to play this year so they are looking to gain more sponsors and donors in order to keep costs as low as possible.

Bryan Dzombak keeps his eye on a pitch.

Bryan Dzombak keeps his eye on a pitch.

Businesses can also volunteer as staff members are welcome to attend and help out on a Saturday. Vigneux said companies can sign up through the Miracle League’s website, which is www.amherstburgmiracle.com.

Volunteers are always welcome, she added, noting that it is a great way for students to get their volunteer hours needed for graduation.

“It’s a great way to get community hours and have fun at the same time,” said Vigneux.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo throws out the first pitch before one of the Miracle League's four games May 7.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo throws out the first pitch before one of the Miracle League’s four games May 7.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo threw out the first pitch and welcomed players back for the 2016 spring season. DiCarlo called Miracle League one of the greatest events in Amherstburg and credited the players and volunteers for making it happen.

“The atmosphere created by the volunteers and the joy from the players is contagious,” he said.