Warwick, N.Y. (NCC News) — Beautiful People founder Peter Ladka had just finished a successful business career. As he sat at home, he had one goal, to give back. All it took was one infomercial, an advertisement for the Miracle League, an adaptive baseball league with more than 150 chapters across the United States. Ladka knew what Warwick needed. Sports for children with disabilities.
One in five children in the United States are born with disabilities, according to data from the United States census. However, the word disability encompasses much more than most people think. Children can have mental, physical, or emotional challenges that might not be visible to the naked eye.
“Adaptive sports for children with disabilities,” are seen on hundreds of shirts all over Daniel Fratto Memorial Field on any given Saturday.
Volunteers from across Orange County venture to Warwick each week to become one-on-one buddies to disabled children, no matter their condition.
“Every child deserves to play sports,” said Jan Brunkhorst, the executive director of the nonprofit.
Brunkhorst said Beautiful People’s goal is not for children to just improve their athletic ability. She believes that the emotional aspect of the nonprofit is the true reason why people come back each week.
“I’ve seen children make friends, join a team, and have something to look forward to each week. That’s really something,” said Brunkhorst.
The organization’s goal is simple, a smile for volunteers, children, and parents alike each Sunday in Warwick.
“If they (the children) come off the field happy, then we are doing our job,” Brunkhorst said.