Challenger Baseball

By: Paul J. Palka - Wed, Nov 9, 2022 8:13 AM

The  Challenger Baseball program. started in 2006 when we began a fundraising campaign to build the first adaptive Little League field in Michigan.  On August 8, 2008, the field was completed, a blessing ceremony by the Knights was held and then we began play.  Through the years, the Knights of Columbus donations have helped us maintain the beautiful field so that we may provide a safe and structured environment for our special needs players to play Little League Baseball.  The donations also helped us purchase uniforms and equipment. 

In 2014 Little League Baseball lifted the age limit for Challenger players.  We are now registering over 100 players over the age of 18.  Little League Baseball requires them to play on a larger field for their safety.  In 2018 I started another field building campaign to build the new adaptive Senior League field in the same park as our current field.  Unfortunately, the pandemic stopped most of our fundraising efforts, but, even during the pandemic, some Knights of Columbus councils continued to donate.

In 2021, I spoke to Ken Dumas, who spear headed the 2006 campaign about rallying the councils once again to help raise funds to build the new Senior League adaptive field.  We worked together contacting the councils that previously donated.  I was also provided with John Hundiak’s, the previous State Special Olympics Director, contact information.  I found out that the Knights were going to campaign to possibly raise up to $75,000.00. 

As I look back on the many years that the Knights of Columbus members have given their gallant efforts and precious time raising funds for Challenger Baseball, I knew I had to name the new field after your founder, Father Michael McGivney!

As of today, the 2022 fundraising efforts which include Palm Sunday and monies from general funds of some councils totals $15,000.00.

I am hoping that more councils will rally together and give to this worthy cause so that we may raise the remaining funds to build the new field and honor Father McGivney.

Thank you for your help and God Bless!

Marilyn Wittstock - 586-292-4509

CVLL Challenger Baseball District Six Asst. District Administrator