The Paris Optimist Foundation was recently selected to receive a grant from the Texas Rangers’ Foundation to upgrade the tee ball and Buddy Baseball field (Field 7) dugouts at the Charles Taylor Youth Complex at Woodall Fields.
“The Texas Rangers Foundation offers grants for recreational baseball programs within their fanbase area,” said Executive Director Sabra Vaughan.
The Paris Optimist Foundation applied last year, however, they didn’t receive the grant but were encouraged to re-submit and were selected.
“We were really excited to find out we had gotten the grant this time,” said Vaughan. “We received a grant about five years ago for the basically the same thing for our big field and it really made a difference.”
Vaughan explained the field that is currently getting the upgrades from the grant hosts not only 3-year-old to 6-year-old tee ball games but also the Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society’s Buddy Baseball program.
“Buddy Baseball is a great program for those with intellectual or physical disabilities and these upgrades will really allow more access for wheelchairs, walkers etc.,” explained Vaughan. “It really wasn’t wheelchair accessible beforehand and we’re really excited to be able to expand those dugouts.”
The upgrade will make the dugouts larger and handicap accessible as well as add storage units for players’ equipment.
Vaughan encourages everyone to come out during those games and encourage the players as they get to participate in a sport that might not have been available to them.
“It’s pure joy to see these players on the field whose parents may have never thought about them being able to do that. It’s amazing to see.”
Because of the program starting in Paris, Texas, Buddy Baseball is actually an official league of Dixie Baseball now.
As part of the grant from the Texas Rangers Foundation, some of the team will be visiting Paris for the official presentation of the grant.
“We are very excited about everything going on at the Paris Optimist Baseball Club and can’t wait for the Texas Rangers to visit Paris.”
The Texas Rangers will be in Paris on January 23, 2019, at PJC’s Hunt Center (gymnasium) from 4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. to make the presentation. Texas Rangers players, unknown at this time, will be at the presentation.
The event is open to the public.
If you are interested in the Paris Optimist Baseball Club, registration for Spring Dixie Baseball will be held at the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ February 2nd and 9th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, click here