TOMS RIVER, NJ — A very small percentage of people will ever know what it's like to take the diamond in a Major League Baseball game. Former Reds All-Star Todd Frazier is in that select group, but wants more to be included in the sport he loves.
Frazier threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams in his hometown of Toms River, NJ. The inclusive recreational complex focuses on physical and social inclusion for people of all ages and abilities.
The project was founded by Christian and Mary Kane, along with RWJ Health dignitaries and local community partners. Frazier has been involved with the organization since its inception.
The "Field of Dreams" was inspired by the Kanes' 11-year-old son, Gavin who suffered a traumatic brain injury in July 2012 at 19 months old. Throughout his childhood, Gavin's parents struggled to find inclusive facilities to accommodate him and other children with special needs.
“This is about the power of inclusion, as Mary and I built this complex for our son Gavin and other families that must endure the same challenges that we deal with every day,” Christian Kane said.
In addition to the baseball field, the complex has a basketball court, nine-hole miniature golf course, bocce and a playground designed to be more accessible for wheelchairs and adaptive equipment. The facility also features a "quiet corner" located in a pavilion to accommodate participants and guests with autism, along with electric charging stations for wheelchairs.
Toms River donated the 3.5-acre piece of land for the complex.
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