A Special Place for Special Children
It was five months ago that a dream became a reality with the grand opening of the RWJ Barnabas Field of Dreams at the Ocean Orthopedic Associates Complex in Toms River. Inspired by the dedication of Christian and Mary Kane on behalf of their son Gavin this version of the Field of Dreams is a special needs private community open to those regardless of age or ability. It was designed to encourage and engage individuals in physical and social activity and contains a baseball field, basketball and bocce court, playground, miniature golf course, picnic area and more.
As summer turns to fall there are a couple of Sports Challenge Programs getting ready to launch:
The Toms River AYF (American Youth Football) Warriors team of special needs players is practicing once a week and on Mondays plays games at the Field of Dreams against and with the help of local high school football teams.
The Todd Frazier Special Needs Baseball League is open to anyone ages 5 and older regardless of ability and will begin practice on Thursday, October 6th from 6-7pm. Practices will be every Thursday through November 3 and games will be played on Saturday evenings during this period.
In addition the Toms River Basketball Association will soon begin practice in their challenger division on Wednesday evenings.
Registration for both the baseball and basketball leagues is available at www.rwjfieldofdreams.com and look for the Sports heading. You do not have to be a resident of Toms River or a member of the Field of Dreams to participate.
This unique facility which helps fulfill the needs of kids with disabilities to feel normal is open Monday-Saturday from 8am to dusk except holidays. Membership is free but required for special needs families and again can be done through their website where you can find details on upcoming events and how you can donate to help the Field of Dreams continue its mission for years to come.