Auburn Hills, Michigan, July 12, 2022
On June 18th, 2022, Easterseals Michigan’s Miracle League of North Oakland cut the ribbon on the brand-new “Andrea Yatooma’s Home Plate Concession Stand.” A recent $100,000 donation from Greg & Chris Yatooma directly helped the construction of the concession stand.
The new concession stand gives the opportunity to individuals with disabilities to be employed on game days at the field, as well as all park activities at Friendship Park in Orion Township, where the Miracle League field is located. The concession stand building also has handicap accessible bathrooms equipped with special adult sized changing tables for individuals to use.
“After visiting the Miracle League field in Orion Township and seeing the joy on the children’s faces, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved,” Greg Yatooma said. “The addition of the concession stand is a great way to improve the experience for players and families at the park, while raising funds to further support the league and its future.”
Pictured above: The Yatooma Family pictured with Easterseals Michigan Board Members, Susie Glasgow - Easterseals Michigan Miracle League Team Support Specialist, and Chris Barnett - Orion Township Supervisor
The league celebrated the day with a balloon artist, face painting, a silent auction, ceremonial first pitches from Andrea Yatooma and Lomas Brown, national anthem sung by America’s Got Talent contestant and Oxford High school student, Ava ‘Swiss’ (Swieczowski), donor wall unveiling, 50/50 raffle, complimentary food, and a tripleheader of baseball games.
Along with the donation from the Yatooma brothers, the league raised $2,500 from their silent auction held at the event to contribute towards their fundraising goal of $145,000 for the project.
“This season carries the theme of ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ and this event encompassed that feeling entirely,” said Brent Wirth, CEO of Easterseals Michigan. “We’re incredibly grateful for the generous donation from Greg and Chris Yatooma, the ongoing support from Orion Township staff, and the community that allow us to make this program a reality for more than 400 children each year.”
With the donations from the event, the league is only $40,000 away from their fundraising goal to complete the Andrea Yatooma’s Home Plate Concession Stand. Donations to support the Miracle League of North Oakland and their goal can be made here by selecting “Miracle League North Oakland” from the drop-down menu.
“A special thank you to the Yatooma family, all our donors, families, Easterseals Michigan Board members and employees, our volunteers, Orion Townships staff, and so many more who made this happen,” Susie Glasgow, Team Support Specialist at Easterseals Miracle League of North Oakland said. "It indeed ‘takes a village,’ and were so happy you all are part of ours.”
Miracle League of North Oakland is Easterseals Michigan’s second adaptive baseball field, providing children and adults with behavioral and physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member, boost self-esteem, make new friends, and become more than an individual with a disability. The custom-designed field incorporates a synthetic turf that accommodates walking assistance devices. Athletes are paired with an able-bodied volunteer, a “buddy,” who can assist them in batting, catching, throwing, and running. Every player gets a turn at bat, in the outfield, and to ability to cross home plate.
Tripleheaders of baseball take place every Saturday throughout the summer. Come out to the Miracle League of North Oakland (Friendship Park, 3380 W. Clarkston Rd., Lake Orion, MI) for family fun!
To learn more about the Miracle League of Michigan please visit www.michiganmiracle.org