Our Inspiration

THE Miracle FIeld Speaks To Everyone

In 2002, a now Miracle League All Star’s family organized a league of their own on a dirt field in Wilmington, North Carolina. This is where many of our Miracle League All Stars first began their dream of playing baseball. Around the same time, Dr. Dan Johnson, Founder and Chair Emeritus, was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and saw the Grand Strand Miracle League in action while watching his son play baseball. He returned to Wilmington with a vision of a Miracle Field for Wilmington - A place that engaged children and adults who had always watched from the sideline in a community of sports, recreation, and fitness!

In 2008, ACCESS of Wilmington was incorporated as a nonprofit organization and the Wilmington Believes in Miracles campaign began to raise over 2-million-dollars to fund The Miracle Field and Kiwanis Playground at Olsen Park, a fully accessible 33,000 square foot rubberized field and playground. The Miracle Field of Wilmington is the largest Miracle Field in the country and our Kiwanis Miracle Playground has become a benchmark for accessible playgrounds across the country!

In 2013, Wilmington’s own Field of Dreams, The Miracle Field, allowed many of these children to run, walk or roll the bases for the very first time as All Stars for The Miracle League of Wilmington!

You don’t know this, but I have a heart and a soul. I am only here today because of all your caring, your advocacy, and your faith. I will be a great place because you will decide to be part of me forever.
— Dr. Dan Johnson, Founder + Chair Emeritus

Founding Board of Directors

Dr. Dan Johnson, Chairman + Founder | David Morrison, Vice Chairman | Michael Franklin, Treasurer | Tammy Pruden, Secretary

Neesha Allen - Dr. Candy Ashton-Forrester - John Bunting - John Edge - Holly Grange - Nick Jernigan, MD - Kathrine McKenzie - Amy Queen - Bo Dean, Director

THE HISTORY

Accessible Coastal Carolina Events, Sports, and Services, Inc. - ACCESS of Wilmington - is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to raise funds to build The Miracle Field and Kiwanis Miracle Playground in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Hundreds of children and adults living with physical, intellectual, and invisible disabilities have utilized the 33,000 square foot rubberized Miracle Field and Kiwanis Miracle Playground to experience the joy of adapted sports, recreation, and fitness, often for the very first time! ACCESS has grown from serving 45 children and adults through The Miracle League of Wilmington to over 650 children, adults, and veterans through The Miracle League, ACCESS Fit, Project SOAR and plAy!

Since Grand Opening Day in 2013, The Miracle League of Wilmington has flourished, growing from 45 to 196 All Stars and a total of 10 teams serving individuals age 2 to 80!

In 2015, ACCESS Fit, then G.A.M.E.S, was developed as a collaboration with UNCW’s Recreation Therapy program and began thanks to the generosity of the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation. This program embodies the mission of ACCESS of Wilmington to build community and eliminate barriers to health and wellness through adapted group fitness classes.

In 2016, Project SOAR was developed through collaboration with UNCW and the generosity of the US Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with service connected illness or injury the opportunity to participate in adapted sport and recreation like Archery, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Surfing, and so much more! In 2018, Project SOAR offered over 100 hours of adapted sport and recreation. The program saw significant growth in participation and partnership including the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg and the USO of Jacksonville.

In 2018, ACCESS of Wilmington established plAy providing 35 hours of Archery, Cycling, Kayaking and Surfing for children and adults living with disabilities and their families. ACCESS led Field Trips for local schools, held Movie Nights at Miracle Field and so much more!