El Paso’s Miracle League was established in 2005, after Raul and Sandie Olivar watched a program on HBO sports which showcased a baseball league in Georgia that had totally refurbished their Little League field to accomodate children with disabilities. The organizers said they watched siblings and others sitting on the sidelines cheering on the Little League participants and wanted to do more for them. Sandie Olivar retired from Southwestern Bell after 30 years in 2004 and had retirement money coming her way, so she used that money to establish El Paso’s league. She registered the League with the National Association who was very excited about the prospect of a league in an “International City.” Sandie was familiar with youth baseball as her son and daughter had played as children, so she went about town obtaining support from City Council and community members as well as the community of disability.
The league began in the indoor roller hockey arena at Nations Tobin Park in northeast El Paso. The City Council representative from northeast worked with the arena to line the hockey floor like a baseball diamond. We played three seasons in that arena.
At the same time Raul and Sandie had watched the HBO program, so had countless others from El Paso, including members of the Junior League. They contacted the National, who in turn gave them Sandie’s information. The Junior League wanted to do a signature project in El Paso partnering with the El Paso’s Miracle League in 2006. Junior League of EL Paso and the Miracle League of El Paso joined forces to fundraise to build a specially designed playing field for children with disabilities. In a little over a year, we had raised over a million dollars, to build the complex and field. The field was finished and turned over to the Miracle League of El Paso in April of 2008.
We are located in Ponder Park next to GECU on Viscount, behind Burges High School at 7500 W H Burges. We conduct two seasons of baseball and tball as well as soccer and flag football. During the summer months we play kickball and try other activities to keep the players active.
This league’s mission is to provide a healthy activity for our most sedentary population. We want children and individuals with disabilities to be able to participate in sports as able-bodied persons do. Children ages three and up can come to the baseball field and play a game with their new found friends and volunteers who are there as much for safety as for meeting new friends. Our league promotes socialization and gives family members a welcome respite from the homebound environment.
We are a small nonprofit where no one gets paid. All donations are applied to the programs we provide to help offset costs for uniforms, awards, supplemental insurance and needed equipment.