Challenged by his church and sparked into action by author and speaker Bob Goff, Kevin Negaard pulled The Miracle League project off of his bucket list in August of 2013.
For Kevin, his passion for baseball and individuals with disabilities began in his youth and have been an integral part of his life ever since. When the opportunity presented itself to combine these two passions into one project, he knew he was being called to lead it. He began his quest to put this dream into action. Wherever he presented the project, it was met with great enthusiasm, encouragement and interest. Mayor Bob Scott, Drs. Jacobson, Meis and Meyer from CNOS, business and individual leaders of the community jumped on board early and eagerly. When he met Mike Neswick and Alex Smith from RML Architects, the pieces began to fall into place and The Miracle League vision and dream began to solidify. CNOS and Tyson Foods stepped forward as title sponsors for The Miracle Field and Miracle Playground respectively; Michael Washburn and McClure Engineering volunteered to meet the engineering needs; and Bryan Van Holland stepped forward to be the General Contractor for the project. This project was no longer a bucket list idea; The Miracle League was now a reality coming into quick fruition.
In just over two years from the dawn of the idea, The Miracle League of Sioux City is up and running! It shows just what can be accomplished by a person with a dream when they have the support of the city, their church, and the backing of over 200 businesses, individuals, foundations and civic groups. Even the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, and manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Mike Matheny, have all pitched in to support this project. The Miracle League of Sioux City is a stirring example of what can happen when hundreds of people come together to volunteer their time and resources, to create something that will impact the members of their community for years to come.
A special thank you to Kevin’s dad, Stan, for teaching him to love baseball; to both Kevin’s parents (Stan and Mary) for teaching him to love all people and to appreciate the unique gifts that all people possess; to his sister, Heather, for teaching him about “maximizing your potential” and unquenchable joy; to his wife Gail and children Matthew and Megan for their love of baseball, love of people, and their constant support of him and this project.
Roberto Clemente once said, “Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on this earth.” The Miracle League Field is just one man’s determination to make a difference and to leave the world a little bit better than how he found it.
The above piece was written for our Grand Opening on September 12, 2015. Since that time, we have added The Scheels mini golf course, Premier Bank/Premier Bankcard Splash Pad, the MRHD/Hard Rock Music Park and a walking path.