Helena Miracle League hosts ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ fundraiser
By Michael J. Brooks/For the Reporter
HELENA–The Helena Miracle League sponsored its inaugural fundraiser on Saturday, April 1, with a “Dude Looks Like a Lady” Womanless Beauty Pageant. The event was held at the Helena Sports Complex. Mike Dubberly of WBRC Television was emcee and Helena Mayor Mark Hall served as a celebrity judge. Andre Usher won the “Mr. Helena” title and Huey Woodman was named first runner-up.
“It went really well,” League President Mary Chambliss said. “It was a lot of laughs. And we cleared around $1,000 as seed money to begin our project.”
Chambliss said another league member saw a similar event sponsored by Relay for Life, and the group decided to try it in Helena as their inaugural fundraiser.
“Groups sell candy and coupon books and car washes, and all this is fine,” Chambliss said. “But we thought it would be great to kick-off with a fun event like this.”
The Miracle League plans to construct a special needs baseball field at Joe Tucker Park. The field will be constructed of a special synthetic made from recycled tennis shoes and trash bags.
“The field can be squeegeed when it gets wet with no problem, and there’s no mud for special needs youth and adults to slip in,” Chambliss said. “And everything at the complex will be ADA compliant, including the restrooms, concession stand, parking and dug outs.”
Chambliss headed up the Moody, Alabama Miracle League for eight years before approaching the Helena mayor and city council.
“They were excited about our idea and have been phenomenal in every way,” she said.
The Moody complex was the first one in Alabama, though the first in the nation was built in Conyers, Georgia, in 2000. Chambliss said the Moody League had 120 players and 10 teams.
“There are 13 other leagues in the state now,” she said. “When we have our league World Series, teams are invited in for tournaments, or host on their fields.”
Chambliss has a special-needs son, and saw firsthand how he benefited from playing baseball in Moody.
“We need $700,000 to do this in Helena,” Chambliss explained. “We’ll also be applying for grants, seeking sponsorships and holding other events in the months ahead.”
Chambliss said the league wants to begin playing ball in Helena in the Spring of 2019.