Toms River will partner with the Lakewood BlueClaws to host a fundraiser for its Field of Dreams program, which will consist of the construction of a baseball field and league for special needs children in the community.
The project is being supported by Toms River native and professional baseball player Todd Frazier.
“There are a lot of kids out there with special needs, and I want them to have the experience of cracking the bat, feeling the wind with their uniform on breeze through their bodies on the field of baseball,” Frazier said. “I think there is nothing better in the world than to see you son or daughter play this game.”
The proposed field would provide a baseball field, miniature golf area and a fully handicap-accessible playground. The baseball league would consist of shorter games than traditional youth leagues, with activities other than baseball accessible to the children on the same site. The physical field would be built on the premises of Silver Bay Elementary School.
“If the township of Toms River can come together, we’ll have a field we can remember,” said Christian Kane, a Toms River resident and father of six children who is spearheading the project.
Kane’s youngest son suffered injuries in a car accident when he was just a year old, but loves baseball, his father said. The issue is that no truly handicap-accessible field exists in Toms River, and children with disabilities often cannot play full seven or nine inning games.
The fledgling effort will get a big boost May 22 with the help of the Lakewood BlueClaws, which will host a fundraiser for the project.
A $20 ticket at the game that day will entitle a fan to general admission and a Field of Dreams t-shirt. A $75 ticket will grant access to a luxury box, free food, soft drinks and shirt. A total of 70 luxury tickets will be sold.
Tickets and shirts will be available for purchase at the main gate, which opens at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the Toms River Field of Dreams website.