Have fun and support Abigail’s Plan Saturday night

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

Do you know the story of Abigail’s Plan? For those who may not, I am proud to tell it.

Abigail Kidd, who was born with Down Syndrome, is the name and spirit behind the community effort that built our beautiful handicap-accessible Miracle Field at Bobby Brewer Park in Lawrenceburg.

The league for athletes with disabilities started with 11 players in 2008. The number was up to 59 in 2014, when Abigail’s parents Tommy Lee and Lesa launched the campaign to build our Miracle Field. It would feature accessible dugouts and a rubberized field, where mobility equipment could glide between bases and rain would quickly drain away.

The fundraising goal was $350,000 and the effort was called Abigail’s Plan, after Abigail’s lifelong habit of asking her parents “What’s the plan?”

The plan worked. Money came quickly because Abigail’s Plan was embraced by everyone, from businesses that gave thousands, to individuals (like me) who doused themselves with ice water on social media to earn donations.

In less than a year, this community raised $350,000. Many also donated time and talent, including Bobby Evers, whose design makes our Miracle Field feel like a big league park. Like the loaves and fishes that fed thousands, our investment resulted in a $1.4 million facility where 115 athletes played in spring 2023.

Another part of Abigail’s Plan is coming to fruition with construction of the county’s first All-Inclusive Sensory Playground in Summertown. The target for completion is Thanksgiving, and work continues to establish similar facilities in central and southern Lawrence County.

This Saturday night, we have another opportunity to support Abigail’s Plan. Bulls & Barrels is now a nine-year tradition that features live music, cowboys and cowgirls, fast horses, and some very angry bulls. Proceeds go toward upkeep of the Miracle Field and inclusive playground construction. You also support Abigail’s Plan when you purchase t-shirts that bear its awesome logo, wherever they are sold.

Gates at Rotary Park open at 5 p.m. and music from John Ezell and the Fried Cornbread Band begins at 5:30. Bull riding and barrel racing kicks off (literally) at 7:00. Admission is $15 for adults; $10 for children 5-12.

Abigail’s Plan has no employees and offers no monetary profit to anyone. There are countless rewards for the athletes, their friends and families, volunteers who serve concessions and assist players on the field, and spectators who are privileged to watch all the happiness unfold.

I am so proud to be part of a community that accomplishes projects that seem audacious at their outset. That was true for efforts that built our first Columbia State site in 1988 and then established an Education Foundation that still pours thousands of dollars into our school system and students every year. It was true when we replaced books and equipment destroyed by a fire at the LCHS library in 1992. It was true for the Miracle Field. It was true when we raised $1 million from the community to help build our new college facility. It is true for the goal to build two more inclusive playgrounds in Lawrence County.

To those who doubt our ability to accomplish whatever we decide to do, I say (with no Bulls & Barrels pun intended), this ain’t our first rodeo.

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