On August 7, the Erindale Lions Little League and ErinoakKids, the province's largest children's treatment and rehabilitation centre, will unveil a Field of Dreams at Springfield Park, made possible in part by a $43,690 investment from Jays Care Foundation.
Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays, has invested more than $5 million across Canada towards funding construction and/or refurbishment of 54 spaces, including 27 baseball diamonds; combined with other granting efforts, Jays Care's investment in Canadian children and youth exceeds $10.8 million.
The $43,690 invested in the Erindale Lions Little League was allocated for upgrades to Springfield Park, including the replacement of backstop fencing on two diamonds, the enlargement of dugouts to allow wheelchair access, and the enlargement of one diamond to facilitate Challenger Baseball, t-ball and Jays Care Foundation's Rookie League program.
"Jays Care is proud to invest in the development of baseball programming, including accessible baseball, across Canada," said Robert Witchel, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. "In 2015 alone, we will celebrate the opening or funding of three accessible baseball facilities in which we have invested, totalling $353,000. With the upgrades to the facilities at Springfield Park, an additional 120 youths, including youths with physical and developmental challenges, will be provided the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons learned through sport."
The field is also home to the ErinoakKid's Eagles and the site of ErinoakKid's baseball program, which provides opportunities for children with disabilities and special needs to develop their physical and social skills.
"ErinoakKids is thrilled today to join with our partners to celebrate improvements in accessibility for children and youth with disabilities," said ErinoakKids President and CEO Bridget Fewtrell. "By allowing our children to enjoy the full benefits of baseball, they are building self-esteem and learning to grow and stretch beyond their limits to set goals and achieve them."