Tuesday, June 1, 2010

All American Athletes

The 2nd season of baseball was completed on May 25, and all of the kids had such a wonderful time and parents were ecstatic about the program and all it offered for their child. The kids played, the parents laughed, and the volunteers learned a great life lesson about sharing a little bit of time to make a difference in a child's life. This program hopes to continue to grow and be able to reach more families in the York Country Area! Read some of the comments below from the parents:

"My child initiated play with us last night for the first time in a long time. They brought us their glove and baseball and wanted us to play with them!"

"_______ has made a great connection with their buddy, he looks forward to coming to baseball and spontaneously says their name!"

"_______ giggles the whole ride over to baseball when I tell them its time to play"

" I got to send pictures to my family last night of _______ playing baseball! It was so nice to be able to be like any other "typical" parent sending out pictures of my child playing baseball to friends and family. I appreciate this league for giving normalcy back to my life and allowing my child to participate in something that all other children get to do!"

"Thank you and the volunteers for looking at my child and only seeing their abilities and not looking at their disability. My child laughs, plays, and enjoys life just like every other child and for the first time I felt like my child was "normal" and able to interact and play with someone besides me or their therapist! No one looked at my differently and felt sad for me or my child, they laughed with me and shared in my child's accomplish as she hit that ball as hard as she could at baseball and ran with a huge smile across her face"

"_______ has started asking for baseball at school and plays at recess with his friends! He plays with typical peers!!! He still needs help, but he is hitting the ball and running the bases but the other kids are so interested that he is playing baseball! They are actually understanding that yes, he has Autism, but first he is a child that wants to play just like them. What better gift can you give to me! "

"Some students from _______ school were at Cherry Park last night, I spoke to their parents and they asked where ______ was and I pointed to the baseball field and said he was playing baseball. The boys had a huge smile on their faces and asked if _____ would come over in the summer and play baseball with them! I rejoiced in this simple gesture, but I knew we had just crossed a huge barrier. I cry now thinking about it. The teacher emailed me on Thursday and said the kids were all talking about ______ playing baseball and several have asked if he could come to their recess and play with them!"

"I celebrate the simple fact that my daughter gets to participate in an after school function that is not to further her academics, catch her up developmentally, but simply to let her be a kid and to let her enjoy being on a team with other friends. Even if she does sit in the field and looks to be "lost" most of the time and doesn't communicate much with her buddy. She grabs her tshirt, glove, and tennis shoes EVERY DAY and goes to the door. Those are words enough for me! Her smile as I show her the pictures I took and she shows them to her Nana bring tears of joy to my eyes, she has learned what it means to fit in and to belong and to be loved unconditionally. For that gift, words are not enough".

A great end, to a great season!

Learn more about All American Athletes by visiting the website. You can also see photos from the season in a slideshow here.


  1. Lesslie - AWESOME post! Thanks so much for sharing. Reading all of the parents' comments brought tears to my eyes. You are one amazing lady!! Keep up the hard work and I hope you realize how life-changing you are to all of these lucky kiddos! When I grow up, I wanna be just like you - ha ha!! :)

  2. Lesslie - Thank you for organizing the league and for all you do to help our special kids! You truly are a God sent to our family and to many other families...

    We Love You,
    The Herron Gang

  3. Jennifer PernellJune 4, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Where do you find the energy??? Thanks to volunteer buddies, the Herron family, the Pursley family and park and rec for the opportunity given my boys! To watch them throw, hit and run the bases was great! And to see the progress and smiles of their team mates was amazing!