This year’s Extravaganza supports construction of local sports field
By Julia Walker
It is the most wonderful time of the year, when the school comes together to support the community. Performances, hair donations, and custom-made t-shirts are some ways everyone gets involved. This year’s Holiday Extravaganza will raise money to build a Miracle League field behind Flanders Elementary.
The Miracle League of Southeastern Connecticut started in 2010 and builds sports fields that are accessible to children with special needs that use wheelchairs or crutches. East Lyme Parks and Recreation is working with the Miracle League to build an extended field which can be used for soccer, lacrosse, football, and baseball.
Currently, there are two fields in Connecticut, in West Hartford and Rocky Hill. The first was built in 2012, and now has 100 kids from 42 towns playing on it regularly.
“Families really need these facilities,” said executive director of the Miracle League, Michael Michaud. “Parents want to see their children playing and making new friends on their own, and this field finally lets kids who have special needs to be free and independent.”
It costs $550,000 to build this field, and the town has raised $50,000 with help of the Miracle League.
The school is selling t-shirts for $5 during lunch, painting kindness rocks, and planning performances and sports tournaments.
“I hope we spread awareness of kids with special needs, and that students learn we should be kind daily, not [just] at the holidays,” said Freshman Academy and Physical Education teacher Jennifer Brush, who plans the extravaganza.
Principal Michael Susi hopes students keep the cause close to their hearts, even after the event.
“I see students wearing t-shirts from previous years, and it’s nice to see that students are still connected to causes,” said Mr. Susi.
Junior Moriah Liebig and senior Hannah Scheyder are singing during the celebration with senior Luke Wojcik accompanying on the piano for the cause, and many other students, such as those the band, orchestra, and choirs, are performing as well.
“I appreciate the school coming together. We put our troubles aside and focus on what needs to happen,” said Liebig.