(INDEPENDENCE, Mo.) Friday, June 20, 2014 – The City of Independence will host a dedication ceremony for the new Ability Field and Inclusive Playground at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 25 at McCoy Park, 800 N. Bess Truman Parkway (24 Hwy. and Spring St.).
Independence Parks and Recreation has transformed a section of the park into an accessible baseball field and play area for kids of all abilities. In addition to the baseball field, the park now features a play area designed by Unlimited Play, Inc., with specialized equipment ensuring all children can participate regardless of limitations created by disabilities. Jackson County has more than 3,800 children with disabilities, the largest number of any county in the Kansas City area.
The project is a result of a partnership between the City of Independence, the Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities, along with Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, made possible with proceeds from the 2012 Major League Baseball Gatorade All-Star Workout Day held at Kauffman Stadium in July 2012. Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., as well as Royals President Dan Glass and select Royals players, are scheduled to appear at the festivities in support of the projects.
Following the ceremony, the Royals and Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids will officially christen the new baseball field by hosting a youth clinic led by Royals players for approximately 40 children with special needs. The clinic is set for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The children will each receive their own personalized Royals jersey and be treated to lunch following the clinic.
Additional support for this project is provided by Greater Kansas City Automobile Dealership Association, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Eitas, Variety KC, Jim Kidwell Construction, Teamsters Local 41, LDS Foundation, Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation, Junior Services League of Independence, Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Building Trades Council and many more.