"Every child deserves a chance to play baseball." ~WMML Motto
There are organizations that exist purely to promote joy. West Michigan Miracle League is one of those non-profits that was founded to provide an opportunity for kids with physical and cognitive disabilities to play baseball and experience being a part of a team.
When Cam started playing baseball nearly 10 years ago, he was nervous and uncertain. With a fall and spring season every year, we watched his confidence grow and apprehension slip away. Every day in his room, he sees his WMML medals and is reminded of the joy and excitement that every game brings.
We welcomed Oma and Opa late Friday afternoon, making the trip into Grand Rapids for the next day's event. Saturday marked the final game of the 2022 spring season for the West Michigan Miracle League. The volunteers for the game were all part of our local minor league baseball team, the Whitecaps.
The 10am start time brought out a host of Cam Fans: Ms. Kathy (Cam's grade school teacher) and husband, Kevin, Patti (our dear friend and neighbor), Coleen (Alternatives in Motion Exec. Director), Katherine (Cam's former nanny) and husband Paul with their kids, Bexley and Sophia. Of course, Oma and Opa were in the cheering section as well.
The other big names in attendance were Lori and Dave Hastings, the founders of Lori's Voice. It was a bit cooler at the field and the Hastings always offer up handmade quilts provided by their volunteers.
After a celebration lunch from Culver's, we settled in for a relaxing afternoon. Cam's best bud, Brody, joined us for a couple of hours to watch a movie. Having Oma and Opa with us for a second night meant another fun family dinner and more time to hang out together.
Jane and her son were working on completing projects Sunday afternoon. Chris had left on a short business trip for the first time in more than two years. Cam and his mom talked about how he could do some creative yearbook signing. Jane printed the sticker labels, but her son decided what they would say:
"Cam Weatherford 2022. This has been a great school year! Thanks for being my friend. Be kind. See you in high school! Class of '26"