Social Media Release: The Miracle League of East Alabama

Pitch:

On April 2, 2016, The Miracle League of East Alabama kicks off its 2016 baseball season at Billy Hitchcock Field at West Ridge Baseball Complex in Opelika, Alabama.

Background:

The Miracle League of East Alabama is a baseball league for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities. The Miracle League has grown from 56 players to nearly 250 players since the league was created in 2008. There are two different leagues, one for older players who are more mobile and another for players who have more physical handicaps. The Miracle League is free to all players. Volunteer “buddies” help players play baseball.

Facts:

  •         Games are held every Saturday in April and May from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  •         Players play on a flat field made of specialized rubber to make it easier for the players.
  •         Teams are sponsored by local businesses and organizations.
  •        There is absolutely no charge for players to participate.

Quotes:

“My son is special needs, and he played regular baseball in Auburn for a league. I found out within the first year that he just wasn’t going to fit in with those children. So we came out here (Miracle League) the next year. After the first week, I saw how much fun they had and how they treated all the kids, buddies and families, I knew I wanted to get involved.” -Kenny Buck, Miracle League marketing director

“When I started to go out there and volunteer it really just opened my eyes to what it’s like for people with disabilities. Everyone is so unique in their form of communication and their way of handling certain situations so it’s always really uplifting when you get to know them and are able to make that connection that breaks those barriers. I’ve been with kids that weren’t even able to talk or walk, but they were so happy to be out there participating in an activity that they wouldn’t be able to do without a lot of assistance.” -Grace Cox, vice president of Diamond Dolls

Contact:

Rob Cox

eamiracleleague@gmail.com

Multimedia:

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Photo Credit: The Miracle League

Social Media Links:

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Jessie Lynn Dreams Big

Photo Caption: Jessie Lynn
Jessie Lynn has been singing and riding horses in rodeos since she was little. Photo Credit: Jessie Lynn

A woman of many talents and interests perfectly describes Autauga county native, Jessie Lynn Nichols.

Born into a family that loved horses and rode horses, Jessie Lynn grew up traveling from rodeo to rodeo competing and singing the National Anthem. She started singing in church when she was 3 and was classically trained until she was 16, but she had a love and a passion for country music.

Since beginning her music career, Jessie Lynn has performed everywhere from the Alabama Statehouse to backstage at the Grand Ole Opry to opening for the Oak Ridge Boys.

Coming to Auburn

Photo Credit: Jessie Lynn
Photo Credit: Jessie Lynn

Jessie Lynn knew Auburn was the place for her when she was 7. As a member of the Autauga county 4H Horse Program, she spent many summers participating in the different horse judging and vet clinics Auburn offered.

When she came to Auburn at 17 the dream was to go to vet school, however, that was not to be the case.

When she started Auburn she found the agricultural communications program.

“It encompassed two things I loved,” she said. “It encompassed agriculture and it encompassed the communications field.”

Jessie Lynn also plans to start graduate school in Spring 2017 and earn her Master’s in agricultural education. “I love to teach,” she said. “I enjoy watching that ‘aha’ moment.”

She says that her end goal, aside from the music, would be to teach.

Like any good college student, Jessie Lynn has had to learn how to balance her professional and academic lives. She says that you have to find the most important priority. For her, school will always come first. She believes that what is important in your life will be evident by how you prioritize your time.

The Ultimate Goal

“I have a lot of goals and a lot of dreams,” said Jessie Lynn.

Staying true to who she is, staying humble and never forgetting those who have helped her along her journey, are her big goals. She admits these are hard goals to reach but she likes the challenge.

Her time at Auburn has served as a launching pad for her.

“Auburn has given me the different tools I’ve need to enhance what I already knew,” Jessie Lynn said.

The faculty and staff here at Auburn have helped her to be successful as both a businesswoman and as a student about to enter the professional world. They have always supported her and continue to.

After graduation, Jessie Lynn hopes to either be teaching in North Alabama or in Nashville with a recording contract.

Highs and Lows

Like anyone with dreams, Jessie Lynn has faced her share of obstacles.

Photo Credit: Jessie Lynn
Photo Credit: Jessie Lynn

Personal health has been her major obstacle. Two years ago she was diagnosed with Clostridium difficile, also called C. diff. This causes stomach problems and migraines to flair up when she doesn’t get enough rest, which causes her performance in school and at work to suffer.

“Having to balance rest time and a world that’s so busy, that was a chore,” she said.

Her health problems have caused her to reevaluate her priorities to be successful in all of her endeavors.

Health problems and other personal problems were low points in her career but these lows make the highs all that much sweeter.

Graduating from Auburn in three years and “having this much success this early,” said Jessie Lynn are her high points in her academic and professional careers.

This little dream that started three years ago for Jessie Lynn is finally coming to fruition because of her hard work and dedication.