Town officially opens outdoor facilities at new Complex

By Joel Charron

Surrounded by children from numerous sporting organizations, Amherstburg town council officially declared the outdoor facilities at the United Community Credit Union Complex open to the public.

A ribbon cutting was held on Saturday morning, underneath the WFCU Field House.

“This is the hard work of so many dedicated individuals,” said Mayor Wayne Hurst.

The United Community Credit Union Complex is home to a premier turf baseball diamond, a CFL sized turf football/FIFA soccer field, and perhaps its crown jewel, Canada’s first Miracle Diamond.

“This entire complex should make each and everyone of us proud,” said Hurst. “This has been a long time coming and none the less it’s here. Every parent, every child and people of all ages have something here that peaks some interest.”

Hurst credited both the provincial and federal governments for helping to secure the funds to help make Amherstburg’s dream a reality. Hurst also praised past and present council members for their dedication and drive they showed during the construction of the United Community Credit Union Complex.

Hurst applauded the efforts of the Amherstburg Accessibly Committee.

“It shows you just what can be accomplished when you have a room full of people that come together to cooperate, collaborate and certainly innovate. This is evidence of that,” said Hurst.

Hurst added that a facility such as the United Community Credit Union Complex can re-energize a community and stated that Amherstburg has “come of age.”

Hurst mentioned that the reason the ribbon cutting was planned for Saturday June 18 was origionally to allow the late Bruce Croizer to attend. Croizer passed away a few weeks ago and Hurst acknowledged his memory with a moment of silence.

United Communities Credit Union CAO, Mike Lavoie said the local financial institution was “very pleased” to be a part of the facility.

“This complex is indeed the most comprehensive and the most inclusive in Southwestern Ontario, if not all of Ontario and we should all be very, very proud,” he said.

Lavoie encouraged the public to “make the most of it” and to achieve higher levels of health, however Lavoie had a special message for all ages.

“The most important thing is to have fun,” Lavoie said.

National Executive Director of the Miracle League, Diane Alford, compared Canada’s first Miracle Diamond to the movie “Field of Dreams.”

“What has happened in your community is that you built a diamond for special needs children, and they are coming,” stated Alford.

Alford said Amherstburg “eased the pain” of its special needs athletes by building the Miracle Diamond.

“The pain of having been said no to so many times has now been diminished,” she said. “Any child or adult with disabilities now has the opportunity to play baseball.”

Alford also presented Miracle League board member Chuck Bondy with an oversize jigsaw puzzle piece that is meant to symbolize Amherstburg is now part of the puzzle.

“We wish you to have many, many happy days and great experiences in this complex,” said Hurst.

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