A total of 394 Wilemon STEAM Academy students left their mark at The Optimist Park earlier this week — one brush stroke at a time.
When the community gathered for the dedication of Volentine Field for the Miracle League of Ellis County, one bystander noticed something was missing.
Debbie Davis, the Wilemon Teacher of the Year for the 2018-19 school year, serves as the campus art teacher and has been instrumental in beautifying spaces around Waxahachie ISD and the Waxahachie community.
It was Davis who spearheaded the globe mural located on the backside of the Wilemon campus in July 2018, as well as the public art project at the Waxahachie Sports Complex while teaching at Felty in May 2018.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Wilemon students were bussed by grade level to The Optimist Park to experience the newly resurfaced Volentine Field, play games and enjoy popsicles.
More importantly, each student left their beauty mark on the concession stand facing the new home field for the Miracle League athletes.
The 8.5-by-9.5-foot mural will eventually incorporate the Miracle League logo.
Miracle League vice president Stephanie Schaefer was on site to watch her third-grade daughter, Julie, help assist with the white background.
“This is a stamp from the community saying, ‘We are here with you and for you.’ It’s a symbol of unity and compassion,” Stephanie stated in drizzling rain.
For years, Julie witnessed her mother fight to get the Miracle League established. She now has a hand in painting the logo.
Stephanie expressed she was pleased to see Waxahachie embrace the vision of the organization over the years.
“The Miracle League was established to give everyone a chance to play in a barrier-free environment where they could experience the joys of life,” she explained.
Stephanie imagined her son, Chase, playing baseball on the field with other children just like him. In the process of establishing the modified field, Chase passed away and now serves as an "angel in the outfield."
“To me, it’s a testament to that whole Hachie Heart that we were able to make this field come to life,” Stephanie explained with tears in her eyes. “It’s been very emotional and opening day was just Sunday. I’m still looking over your head at this field and can’t believe it’s here.”
Wilemon principal Kate Authier expressed the importance of making an impact on several students in Waxahachie ISD with have unique needs, and that participate in the Miracle League.
“I think it builds that community service heart for our kids, that empathy for others in our differences in how we do things for everybody and we all work together,” Authier emphasized.
Before brushes were in hand, Wilemon students were educated on the art aspect of murals and were further informed about the Miracle League mission.
“It was interesting when I was talking to the kids with how many of them shared stories about relatives that have the same thing that they need a little extra to play," Davis said.
Davis assured the mural of the Miracle League logo would be completed by Sunday.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450