NEWS | Oct. 28, 2014

A League of Their Own

By Staff Sgt. Renae Pittman Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 437th Maintenance Squadron volunteered their time to be "buddies" during a Miracle League baseball game for special needs children, Oct. 25, 2014, in Summerville, S.C.

According to the Miracle League website, "the goal of the Summerville Miracle League is to enhance the lives of people with special needs. This will be accomplished primarily through the national pastime of baseball, but will also include other activities that will bring together our athletes and their families in a positive and enriching way."

The Falcons, a team in the league, has been sponsored by the 437th Airlift Wing for the last three years. Each team will play a total of 13 games during the season, with two, eight-week seasons a year. The 437th AW provides jersey's for all of the players as well as a continuous support system of volunteers.

"Everyone from the wing participates." said Senior Airman Shelby Redman, 437th Operations Support Squadron airfield manager. "Every week there is a different squadron in charge of providing 12 to15 volunteers for the game"

The volunteers act as "buddies" to the children to ensure safety and assisting the children when needed. The kids pick their own buddies  just before the game starts. The buddies assist the children wherever they need help, whether it's batting, running or just sharing an encouraging word. .

"It's inspiring for them to overcome all their hardships in life. It's really great to give back and help them have a good time." said Redman.

Redman has been a coach for the Falcons for the past two years, with Airman 1st Class Matthew Vanderbosch, 437th Maintenance Squadron, joining to assist with coaching this year.

"This is my first season" said Vanderbosch,  "I am really enjoying helping the kids; watching them smile and have a good time makes it all worth it."

According to the Miracle League website, "We cannot change or cure the medical issues life has dealt disabled individuals. What we can do is provide them with an opportunity to experience the joy and benefits that come from playing our national pastime - baseball."

The league is always looking for new volunteers and players to make the games even more enjoyable.

"As we acquire more volunteers, we would like to extend the volunteer opportunities to not only our team, but to the other teams as well so the entire league can have buddies for the kids." said Redman

To find out more information or to volunteer please contact Senior Airman Shelby Redman at shleby.redman@us.af.mil or Airman 1st Class Matthew Vanderbosch at matthew.vanderbosch@us.af.mil.