Bo Bice to serve as ambassador for Helena Miracle League
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–Several kids and adults happily made their way inside Helena City Hall on the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 8, as they prepared to meet a rock star from Helena.
Bo Bice, who gained fame after finishing as runner-up in the fourth season of American Idol in 2005, came back to his former hometown of Helena to give back in a big way.
Children and adults with special needs held up signs and took photos with Bice to celebrate his commitment to help the Helena Miracle League project in a series of promotional videos to help raise awareness and promote fundraising efforts.
The Helena Miracle League’s mission is to provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play Miracle League Baseball, regardless of their abilities, promote community support and sponsorship of Miracle Leagues and promote the construction of special facilities that meet the unique needs of Miracle League players and their families.
Bice said he will officially serve as the ambassador for the Helena Miracle League. The future home of the 125-foot baseball field will sit on a plot of land roughly 2.5 acres behind Joe Tucker Park that will feature ADA accessible restrooms, a pavilion area, concession stand and a disability accessible parking lot.
“I got a phone call last year from Mary Chambliss and she was asking me if I would help to build a ball field here, and it didn’t really dawn on me that it was a special-needs ball field at first,” Bice said. “She contacted me on June 8, and by that time she had become a 501(c) 3, and I saw that she had made some forward progress and was looking to make this happen. That was when I initially also found out that this was for a special-needs field, which we not only don’t have in our community in Helena, but we don’t have one that services Bibb County, Jefferson County or Shelby County. So her goal became something that was a lot more outreaching than my love of Helena and wanting to do something for our community.”
Bice said he is personally impacted by children and adults with special needs. Bice has two cousins with Down Syndrome, and one of his best friends who was a drummer in one of his bands had a daughter born with cerebral palsy and passed away a few years ago.
“Special-needs children and adults are special to my heart, so when I was asked to be the goodwill ambassador for the Helena Miracle League it was not only an honor, but I was drawn to really make what seemed to be an impossible goal of $700,000 happen,” Bice said.
One of Bice’s duties as ambassador is to help the Helena Miracle League with marketing and fundraisers.
One of the biggest fundraisers will be later in the year as Bice, along with other bands, will put on a free concert to coincide with Helena First Friday on Friday, June 1 at the Helena Amphitheater.
Bice said he is committed for the next two years to help make the Helena Miracle League dream become a reality by actively being involved in fundraisers and events.
Other alternative uses for the future field could include visits from nursing home members for exercise, kickball, soccer and Special Olympics events.