Project by Team of Dreams to build first All Abilities Baseball Field

Darian Graivshark
Group photo at the Special Needs Park project reveal.

The Team of Dreams is part of the Leadership Ascension Class of 2019.

On Tuesday, May 14 the team met at the Ascension Government Complex to present their project to government officials and those involved in the project.

The vision of Team of Dreams regarding the baseball field is to provide an ADA compliant sporting facility for the mentally and/or physically disabled children of Ascension Parish. This would allow an opportunity for all children to participate in the organized team sport of baseball/softball.

Composed of synthetic turf surfacing placed over a compacted aggregate sub-base will allow for safe, reliable, and an impact friendly surface for children to play. It will also allow for wheelchair access. It will be located at the site of the current t-ball field on Irma Boulevard.

Currently, Ascension Parish has approximately 2,500 students with disabilities. An all disabilities field would allow for consistent exercise and team interactions. The nearest all abilities fields are located in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.

Chuck Brady, Vice President of Strategic Initiative with Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, said, “We get requests every day from around the country, and this one just felt right. We’ve started with a $150,000 dollar donation lead gift. Hopefully, we can offer more as the project continues.”

Kevin Lennett of Arlington Ridge Group said, “The Lt. Gov. had a vision to use the resources they had for local parishes. His purpose is to help people, and he has a huge heart for the disabled. We’re talking about a young population of boys and girls who don’t have many opportunities.”

The project is for the Leadership Ascension Class of 2019 project. Five team members were present at the event: Gary Garber, Bridget Martin, Erica Paige, Roosevelt Vessel, and Chris Fontenot. Jackie Tisdale is their group project mentor.

Cal Ripken Foundation plans to be involved every step of the way in the project. They want to make sure it gets done, and that there isn’t any project fatigue. They’re also focused on quality versus getting it done cheaply. The foundation also offers training to individuals who will volunteer at the field.

We’ve done about 85 youth development parks in inner-cities. Seventeen of these parks are adaptive fields like the one being built in Gonzales now. This project, though, is generation changing. It’s historic. There has never been something like this in this community before,” Brady said.

Currently, Team of Dreams has raised the $150,000 dollars lead donation from the foundation, as well as $103,000 dollars in-cash donations, totaling $253,000 dollars. Any in-kind donations help reduce the cash cost of completing the project.

If you’d like to be a part of the fundraising efforts, you can donate through their paypal link, or purchase a personalized brick.

Personalized bricks can be ordered at

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