“We came out here last year, and we’ve been looking forward to it ever since. It puts things in perspective and allows us to play for something bigger than ourselves, bigger than our team. And it gives us a chance to be a part of the community, which is something we strive to be every year.”
–Florida State SS Justin Gonzalez (courtesy of Tallahassee Democrat)
Another season of Miracle Sports came to an end last night, which meant it was time for another Seminole Showdown (here, here). As with the ones in the past, this one did not disappoint, and having members of the Seminole baseball and softball teams interact with the athletes was tremendous.
For Kaitlyn, Thursdays at Miracle have been tremendous for her in helping her overcome some of the obstacles she faces on a daily basis such as interacting and engaging with people. From our first day out there through last night, we have seen a ton of improvement in the way that Kaitlyn interacts with people who are not Amber or I. Whether it is getting a piggy-back ride around the bases or having one of the Golden Girls paint a butterfly on her face, everything Kaitlyn’s experiences on the Miracle Field today is something we could only have dreamed of two years ago. There was a time where she would not let too many people get close to her, and that she was not interested in any types of interactions with people. Because of the atmosphere created at Miracle, Kaitlyn has come out of her shell.
Like all of the athletes, her favorite event of the season is when the Seminoles show up. She gets to interact with athletes that she sees on TV or on the field, and it is a great experience for her. Each time is the thrill of a lifetime for her. She also enjoys when the Marching Chiefs show up and play familiar tunes for everyone.
As a parent, I am very appreciative of the regular “green team” volunteers and also of the athletes who show up for the Showdowns. A lot of the regular volunteers are students, and they are all so giving of their time, and it makes a huge difference to the athletes and their caregivers. I am fortunate that I get to experience both the parent side and the volunteer side of Miracle Sports, and I cherish my time out there.
If you have never been to Miracle Sports on Thursday nights (or whatever night it is held in your community), you are missing out. Even someone like Ann Coulter would come away with a new appreciation of the athletes on the field, and she may even expand her vocabulary some as well.