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Refurbished Miracle League field, new playground ready to open in Cranberry

| Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 5:54 p.m.
The Miracle League Field at Graham Park in Cranberry is nearing completion of a makeover, and is shown on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Miracle League Field at Graham Park in Cranberry is nearing completion of a makeover, and is shown on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.
The Miracle League Field at Graham Park in Cranberry is nearing completion of a makeover, and is shown Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Miracle League Field at Graham Park in Cranberry is nearing completion of a makeover, and is shown Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.

The Cranberry Township Community Chest officially will dedicate its 2016 Project of the Year — the resurfacing of the Miracle League Field and construction of the Pirates Charities Out of the Park Playground in Graham Park — beginning at 9 a.m. Sept. 24.

Michael T. Sherry, president of Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, said a Fall Ball program at the field runs through Oct. 15, and more than 250 players will participate.

The new surface enables the league “to continue to offer a program that has participants from all over Western Pennsylvania,” Sherry said in an email, and the new Pirates Charities Out of the Park Playground will be used not only by Miracle League players and their families but anyone who visits Graham Park.

“The playground will give kids of all ages and abilities a chance to enjoy a fun day at the park,” Sherry said.

The Cranberry Miracle League Field first opened in 2009. It is specially designed and engineered to give special needs children and adults the opportunity to enjoy playing baseball.

Every aspect of the field's design, as well as the rules of the game, are adapted to provide a baseball experience for all, including individuals with special needs.

The rubberized surface, however, deteriorates over time. The Community Chest group worked with Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania to resurface the field and partnered with Pirates Charities to construct the baseball-themed playground nearby.

The playground's design features two baseball-themed play areas, with an assortment of playground furnishings. The two areas will be linked by a walkway lined with interpretive signs.

Total cost of the project, according to CTCC board member Bruce Mazzoni, is about $600,000. Money was raised through the annual Community Days celebration, direct-mail campaigns and other fundraisers.

Seneca Valley students also held fundraisers, including a Raiderthon dance that raised $20,000. Pirates Charities contributed $100,000.

The CTCC has already begin fundraising efforts for the 2017 Project of the Year, the CTCC SportCourts at Graham Park.

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