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Homer's Heroes: It's Time to Play Ball!

Author: 
Tari Miller

Homer's Heroes LogoIt’s Spring and baseball season will soon be starting. Tis the season for nice weather, hot dogs, ice cream, and Homer’s Heroes! While some families may be content to sit and take in a game, Homer’s Heroes is a baseball league that provides an opportunity for the whole family to participate, specifically, children with mental and physical disabilities.

Homer’s Heroes Baseball began in 1992 by the Optimist Clubs of Lincoln, and has continued to grow each year.  For six Saturdays, children with a disability can experience the fun and development of playing in an organized baseball league.  The games aren’t played to keep score, rather, the goal is to have each child play and get to bat. Players can choose to hit off a tee, or have the ball pitched to them. Each player is assigned a “Buddy” during the games. The Buddies are volunteers who give support and assistance to the players. Buddies help with anything from pushing a wheelchair, if needed, to guiding a player with visual and/or hearing impairment, to keeping a player on task.

Jeanne Cuda has been involved since around the 1993 season. At first she was asked to be a coach. Now in addition to coaching, she keeps busy as Chairwoman handling the pictures and registration for the teams. Last year, the league had 96 players using four fields for eight teams! Jeanne said coaching tends to be very rewarding and contagious, which allows her and a very supportive, organized staff of volunteers, to keep the league running smoothly every year. The coaches and Buddies come from a pool of Optimist volunteers. School teams, grandchildren and friends of Optimists, players’ parents, and firemen have all helped out as well.

For more information, call Jeanne Cuda at 402-423-7434 or Dottie Williams 402-476-3794. Or email homersheroes1@aol.com. Additional information can be found on the Jr Salt Dogs website.
 

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