Challenger Little League Baseball
The Challenger Division of Little League Baseball is a program created to provide an opportunity for mentally and physically disabled youth to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. Martin County North Little League started the first Challenger Division on Florida’s Treasure Coast five years ago. Two years later, ME’s Team became a partner in this amazing program. With the help of annual donations from ME’s Team, over 200 children have participated in Martin County North’s Challenger Division. Children from as far north as Vero Beach and as far South as North Palm Beach participate weekly in games played on three different age levels. We are proud to be a small part of this huge and inspirational success story.
On behalf of my family we would like to extend our most earnest appreciation to you and the entire Martin County North Little League Board for this wonderful occasion you have afforded our son Travis as well as the Challenger League of Martin County North. As a parent of a “Challenged” child we have always tried to give Travis the sense of belonging, whether it is in academics, extracurricular activities, or whatever he so desired. The board, Jill, and Joe have gone out of their/your way to give Travis this sense of belonging. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to watch your son observe other children his age playing in a game that they themselves so badly want to play, but unlike Travis understand their limitations (he is very aware of his disability) – but contrasting that statement, there is nothing more joyful to watch your child play, interact, and feel as part of a team, especially when the children from the mainstream league come over to assist as buddies.
The Jamboree is the cherry on top of this entire idea – having seen my son win a gold medal at the Florida State Special Olympics a few years ago brought tears to my eyes much more so than when in 1994 we were told that Travis had a mere six-hours to live following his birth – but opposed to that these were tears of utter joy. The fore is a feeling I will never forget, nor the latter. However, the idea that our children will now get to take part on a larger scale is overwhelming. Not so much for the ball playing – but to watch their faces when they take a good look around and see all that has been done for them, in their honor. They of course will never understand the enormity, and heart that has gone into the event – but alas, we as parents and family will hold onto that. You, as well as the other members of the board, Little League, and the sponsors have given as a gift to the now “our” children, more so in this dreadful economy.
Once again, thank you – and please pass along our heartfelt thanks to the remainder the Martin County North Little League Board and sponsors.
Stacy and Craig Brockman
I wanted to thank you for allowing our Challenger kids to participate in the Jamboree in Clearwater. My family, and I know others as well, feel truly blessed to have this program in Martin County. It is such a joy to see our kids on the field able to participate in something they love and having a GREAT time doing it. It is heartwarming to have the “regular” baseball players out there helping out our kids. It looks as if everyone is having a good time…including the parents in the stands!! Every Saturday my son is up early and dressed in his uniform ready to play, he wears it all day until game time!
Thank you again…you all are an inspiration!