Arc Mercer Singers Help Celebrate Ewing Little League Lighting Ceremony

June 9th, 2017

little_league_ceremony

By Reed Thomas, Manager of the Music Community Engagement Training Site

Sharing this story has a special meaning to me because I grew up in Ewing Township and played in Ewing Little League myself. I still clearly remember my first catch in the first game I ever played. It was at Fasolino Field, deep in left-center field, with my eyes mostly shut and as many fingers crossed as I could! That’s why when I was contacted about helping to celebrate the renewal of this community location which had meant so much to me, I immediately said yes.

For a little background on this story, I have to start in the mid 2000’s when an accident damaged one of the field’s dugouts and made it not safe to use. Since then the field fell into disrepair, the lights ceased to function, and it was left to be overgrown with weeds and unused. With so many people having fond memories and positive experiences on this field, an effort began in 2015 to restore it to its former glory. Ewing Little League raised funds for repairs but the major issue of lighting still seemed an impossible hill to climb. Enter Major League Baseball and their “Baseball Tomorrow Fund.” With a generous grant of almost $110,000, the league was able to fit the final piece into the puzzle and fully restore the lighting with a modernized LED system, which will last for years.

Sure, this is a feel-good story which I have personal ties to, but it’s not about me. It IS about the involvement of a group of consumers who came out to become a part of this field’s history and celebrate the rebuilding of an iconic location in the heart of their community. On April 22, 2017, after the sod had been laid, the lights restored, and this season’s teams assembled, the League and the township prepared to celebrate. The day was rainy and cool but that did not stop the crowd from assembling anyway. To kick off the celebration, a group of our consumers led the crowd in a rendition of the classic “Take me out to the Ball Game.” As over a hundred voices came together to sing this baseball standard, I could see our singers swell with pride. This is a story about inclusion and community, about taking pride and taking part in the same things we all care about as neighbors and friends. The song itself lasted only a few minutes but the feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves, and being accepted by the community they live in, will last so much longer. The rest of the day was full of food trucks, impassioned speeches, and of course baseball! The crowd congratulated our folks on a job well done and Jon Noble,¬†President of the league, had this to say “…we are very proud of them, they set the tone for a very special day.”

I am proud of our singers, too, and I am proud to have been able to help them be a part of this experience. They now have a place in the history of this field which has had a positive impact on so many people, but more than that, they have the knowledge that they are a part of this community. They support it and it supports them, just as it should be.