Toms River ‘Field of Dreams’ will be a place for everyone to play ball
"If you build it, they will come," -- The iconic movie line from Field of Dreams comes to life in Toms River with a family who was hit with tragedy about four and a half years ago when nineteen month old Gavin Kane suffered injuries preventing him from being able to walk or talk. Plans for a real life Field of Dreams are underway, so Gavin can play ball.
(Video courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools TV21)
The plan is build a real life Field of Dreams come 2019 at 1505 North Bay Avenue in partnership with Toms River Township, where special needs kids and adults can play challenger league games on an artificial surface field.
It'll be there to host special needs programs, after school programs, summer camps and more Kane says.
"It's a facility that will have a rubberized baseball field, rubberized miniature golf course, state of the art special needs playground, a pavilion with special needs tables and a snack area for food for people who are in our leagues to be able to enjoy a day at the ballpark," said Kane.
Just a few years ago, nineteen month old Gavin Kane was gleeful and playing just like his five siblings were.
A car accident his father Christian and him were involved in took away the toddler's ability to walk and talk.
His father now envisions a field where Gavin can play ball and get involved in sports activities like any other kid.
"It's your dream to be able to make him feel like a typical kid again, to make other kids who are his age or he goes to school with feel like a typical kid again, and you need a field for that," said Kane.
The field of dreams will be a field will be a place where special needs children and adults can play challenger division baseball games.
Gavin is currently in need of a walker and his dad is planning for an artificial surface type field which would be more accessible for mobility.
"There is no kind of facility like this," said Kane. "So my wife and I decided that we're going to build one."
It won't just be for kids in Toms River, Kane adds, any special needs individual or someone battling cancer in Ocean and Monmouth Counties to be able to play ball on this field.
"It's open to any Little League," said Kane. "Our goal right now is to reach out to Little League's in our two major counties, and say 'hey, listen keep doing what you're doing but we now have a place for you to do what you want to do'."
The over-pouring of support both locally and across the nation as well as continued donations Kane says they're receiving to help build this field is humbling.
"Once they heard of what I was doing, it wasn't a question of maybe...it was yes, how can we help? what can we do?," said Kane.
Kane says they need to raise $1,200,000.00 for Field of Dreams construction, but they hope to raise about $20,000.00 at a fundraiser May 22 at First Energy Park in Lakewood.
Tickets are $20.00 to get into the event with general admission and receive a t-shirt, with kids 12 and under eating free that night because it is a Monday at the home of the Lakewood Blue Claws who host Greensboro that night.
If you can't make the game that night but would still like to learn more and donate to the cause, contact Christian Kane or visit the website designed for the Field of Dreams project.