"It's February of 2021. I read a book by Ethan Bryan and he did it and I'm like, Hey, I'm gonna turn 60 in January and this would be a good project for a year.”
Kevin Negaard is a familiar face at Miracle League Park and beginning January 18th and for the next 365 days, Kevin will be playing catch. "Wanna Have A Catch will consist of at least 30 throws each day no matter what.
"I'll play catch that day and I'll play with my father who's 87 years old and in a wheelchair but loves baseball, has always loved baseball and really created that love within our family and so probably a no better way to kick it off," Negaard said.
He isn’t just playing catch to pass the time, but a way to raise money for a group dear to his heart, the Miracle League of Sioux City.
"I think for so many families with a child with special needs is they've never really been the priority," he said while we visited the park. "And so, this entire complex is built with people with disabilities as the number one priority. And so that's been rare."
Haley Meachum is the executive director of the Miracle League of Sioux City. . "It's just so meaningful that he wants to spend you know, 365 days out of the year promoting the miracle league of cities. So it just means the world to our organization."
When Kevin approached her about this challenge, "I am just always in awe every single year. I'm not surprised that Kevin wanted to do something like this. He is a go-getter. He loves the Miracle League."
Kevin hopes to play catch with Miracle League players, their families, volunteers, local athletic teams, and anyone who wants to come out and throw a few over the next year.
"They're going to play catch with Kevin. And we get to hear more about their story and what they love so much about the miracle League, so it's just huge for all of us," Meacham said.
This isn’t just to benefit the athletes. The volunteers at Miracle League get something, too.
"When we volunteer, we're the ones who are really blessed through it, but it has changed lives," said Negaard. "I truly believe this is the most joyous place in Sioux City. You come out on a Sunday afternoon and watch our players playing and then you hear all the kids playing on the playground and splash pads and so on so forth.
"It is just pure joy and really just such a blessing for our community and really demonstrates how Siouxlanders really care about each other. And so just, I think, probably from the lives that it's changed in a short period of time," Negaard said.
Kevin will be traveling to Africa later this year for volunteer work and plans to introduce baseball to people along the way.
One ball, one glove, and one man’s year-long journey to give Siouxlanders with disabilities and their families a safe place to play ball.
To learn more about Wanna Have A Catch, to donate or to join in on the fun, visit their Facebook page here.
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