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Baseball fans work to build 'miracle field'

Posted at 6:03 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 18:34:34-04

DEPEW, N.Y. (WKBW) — If you drove past Dawson field 50 years ago, you'd see kids competing at football and baseball, like Steve Kelm.

"Huge games would be down here. It would be mud. I was at one particular game where a field goal was kicked in the last few seconds!" recalled Kelm.

That's when he was eight, Kelm is now 65. This field has been around for 93 years. It's been a pillar of the community, but in recent years, it's fallen into disrepair.

"Depew High School used to play their football games here, their baseball games here, American legion ball played here, there's a lot of baseball heritage here," said Paul Giordano, Vice Chairman of the Lancaster Baseball Booster Club.

"When you come here, you still get chills. It's kind of our own little field of dreams here," said Bruce Stutz, Chairman of the Lancaster Baseball Booster Club.

No one has played a game at Dawson in more than two years, according to Stutz.

"You hear these great stories about how this park used to be and we feel there's a big piece missing," said Tony Castellana, Fund raising Director for the club.

So members of the booster club took matters into their own hands. They bought the property and have been working since mid-August to make Dawson Field a fun place for everyone.

"Long term plans are to build a miracle field for disabled children because everybody deserves a chance to play ball," said Giordano.

The booster club has applied for its own Miracle League for children with disabilities, according to Stutz, like the one on Grand Island.

The complex will include an ADA compliant playground as well.

If all goes as planned, the project will cost upwards of $1 million.

"The kids in our community deserve better and what better place than Dawson field?" said Castellana.

The club plans to finish its first signature field by June 2020 and the "Miracle Field" a few years later. Members will do the work themselves, but they could also use some volunteer help.

"It's a labor of love for all of us, it takes us away from our family on the weekend," said Giordano.

If you're looking to help, contact the Lancaster Baseball Booster Club on their Facebook Page.