What giving your time can do to you! My baseball story!

How we pulled off a real life Field of Dreams!

Parents of children with special needs team-up with volunteers to raise hundreds of thousands to build an accessible baseball field.

If you’ve thought about volunteering but never got to it because you haven’t found your passion or can’t imagine your time would make a difference…

Think again!

I am so proud to be a part of the Field of Dreams Baseball Program and to volunteer my time, ideas and expertise alongside Pat and Charline who started this and managed to rallied volunteers around their vision.

We are a small but mighty group of 6 volunteer board members, 4 of us are parents of players on the team. The other 2 are just angels 😇 … They are fully dedicated to this program and whatever makes them do this, I am grateful for and I feel privileged to be part of the magic.

This year, our program has 54 players divided over 2 levels (junior and senior teams). This is our biggest group of players yet and I can see our numbers continue to increase as more people learn about it.

In June 2014, after months of fundraising, we took 19 of our players and their family to Toronto to play baseball in the home of the Blue Jays!

While selling chocolate bars and participating in many initiatives to make this trip happen, we started the groundwork on getting our own accessible field.

For more than 2.5 years, we’ve been dreaming about this, reaching out to our city and government. Making plans and working on budgets. We researched grants and made presentations to various level of government and organizations.

With dedication and hard work, we finally announced the beginning of construction this past May after securing commitments from the city of Moncton and the province of New Brunswick.

The city of Moncton, gave us the field to retrofit and donated $167,000 to put towards the cost of our project.

The Province of New Brunswick agreed to match the city’s financial contribution of $167,000.

We had 2/3 of our project funded and 1/3 still to go!

In order to break ground, the city agreed to loan us the remaining $167,000 over 7 years.

Knowing what we had done already, we hoped to be able to secure some grants and sponsorships that would allow us to fund the last ⅓ of this project over a shorter time frame than 7 years.

Like I said above, hard work and dedications…

Over the last 2 weeks, we announced the following donations:

$125,000 from the Jays Care Foundation

$10,000 from our local Pita Pit locations

And $165,000 from Presidents Choice Children’s Charity

How are your math skills?

Did you already figure it out already?

Phase 1 of our Field project (which we had 7 years to find the last 1/3 of the funds) is fully funded within 2 months of the first announcement!

Our teams will have their fully accessible baseball field!

Our players will have a much safer place to play and I am overwhelmed by emotions knowing that I played a small part in this.

Someone asked yesterday, when we announced the PCCC generous donation, what we were going to do now.


We play Baseball!

We continue to provide this amazing program to as many kids and young adults as we can!

After baseball we go back to the plans and look at what is our next step.

Will it be lights, a score board, a BBQ area (for party), better bathroom facilities, more parking spaces, accessible play area, there are so many things we could do next.

This was never a stand-alone projects in our heads. This was phase 1!

Thank you so much to all involved!

To my fellow board members! Shelley, Tracy, Blaise, Charline and Ruth!
To the Moncton Fishercats for volunteering every week.  You are awesome!
To everyone who contributed to our fundraisers and/or donated to President Choice Children Charity.  We wouldn’t be here without your generosity.

To our Field of Dreams parents for taking the time weekly to take our athletes to the field.
To our volunteers for taking the time to play baseball with our teams and allowing us parents some time to chat amongst ourselves while cheering for our kids! As Emily’s mom, I can say that I never really thought I would do something like that, ever!

And last but not least, thank you to our athletes for being there, having fun and giving it everything they have. You make us want to be better and do more just by being yourselves! Thank you!

Soon, we will have our Field of Dreams!  It’s being built right now!

I wrote about our baseball journey before, you can revisit those posts here:

Some experiences you just can’t buy!

To put the fun back in fundraising!

To put the fun back in fundraising!

Over the years, Emily has volun”told” me on more than one occasion.

“My mom will do it!”


This is normally how this happens. Something is being discussed at school, Emily wants to be part of it so suddenly, I am part of it. 🙂

I recognize the significant progress my daughter has made over the years which now allows her to sign-up for things and drag me along…

At the same time, sleeping on a gym mat in a middle school gym is not something I wish to have to do again.

This time, I turned the table around and volunteered Emily!… and I.

Her field of dream baseball team has been invited to Toronto next June to take part in the National Challenger Baseball Jamboree.

You can read about the 2013 edition of the Jamboree on this website


June 2014, our kids are to show-up at the Blue Jays game at the Roger Centre which I still call the SkyDome…. and after the game, they will play baseball, right there where the Blue Jays were playing!

I wrote about Emily’s baseball team and how amazing this experience has been for her and her teammates so far. You can read my “most viewed post ever” right here: Some experience you just can’t buy!

Last week, I asked Emily if she knew how many kids in her high school ever played at the SkyDome. She said “lots”, I replied probably none of them. Her reaction? “Really???”

I would like for her to understand that this is quite a big deal. I don’t want to stress her about it but I want her to understand how unique of an opportunity this is.

Look at our baseball team!


Our kids have a blast playing baseball and they get to do it because of great volunteers and sponsors!


We even had a chance this summer to say thank you to who we believe were the original driving force behind our successful program. I realize Pat and Charline are not big on getting credit for this amazing program as we have tons of volunteers who are instrumental in the success of the Field of dream team but they do deserve some credits as they rallied all those volunteers and they are coordinating the program for us.

Have a look at this short CTV news interview, if not for Pat and Charline, because Emily actually spoke to the camera! My girl is a superstar!!!


Back to our trip to Toronto!

To make this happens for them … actually for all of us, we will need to work extra hard over the 6 next months to raise money and plan this properly.

We are a short flight away (2.5 hours) or a 27 hours or so on the train or 1,700 km by car…. 17 hours of driving without stopping … LOL! like that would happen with any of our kids!

Now, we need to raise funds!

We are starting with selling chocolate bars.

They are delicious and I believe that as a group we are selling quite a bit right now. If you are around Moncton and would like to buy some chocolate, I can hook you up! If you would like to help us sell chocolate! I can certainly hook you up with some boxes to sell!!! Let me know!

So far, I am selling chocolate and Emily is eating it!!! She’s eaten 4 of them… and every time she takes one, I make her put $2 in the box from her piggy bank. At that speed, I am not sure if she will eat all the chocolates or run out of money first… more to come on this! 🙂

Within a week, we will start selling raffle tickets on a $500 valued prize. $250 gift card at the Atlantic Superstore and $250 at Champlain Place (our mall in Moncton). We will sell to everybody we know, we will sell at the Atlantic Superstore (Emily will wear her baseball jersey and be there with me) , we will also have a table at an office building downtown! The draw will be Dec.15th. This gives the winner enough time to use those gift cards on their Christmas shopping!

1 ticket for $2 or 3 for $5

Again, if you would like some, let me know! I can hook you up! 🙂 I am that connected LOL!!!

After the holidays, we will get a final tally on the kids who want to travel to Toronto and we will continue to fundraise.

We will talk to all the transports company around here. Air Canada, Porter, West Jet, Via Rail and anyone else that could help us get our players, families and volunteers to Toronto.

We will look at hotel prices and try to come up with cost for meals and transportation from airport to the hotel and to the Roger Centre and back.

We will do all that while smiling because once we pull this together, our kids will have a chance to experience something none of us has ever experienced. They will play baseball at the SkyDome… oups! At the Roger Centre in Toronto with the Blue Jays alumni and some current players.

Look at Emily this past summer when she played with the Blue Jays alumni in Moncton.

IMG_3802 IMG_3833 IMG_3841 IMG_3845

So, my questions for you today are:

1. What is a great fundraiser?

2. What should we do to raise money to get our kids to Toronto?

3. Can you help us?

4. Do you know anyone who could?

I can’t wait to read all your comments here and on Facebook.

And if you would be so king to click on my top mommy blogs website and help my ranking, I would appreciate that too!!!!