Updated: Jan 14, 2022
FAIRFIELD, OH (December 23, 2021)—In an impressive repeat performance, donors supporting The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields have proven that COVID Still Can’t stop the mission set forth by The Ole Lefthander himself.
The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields recently concluded COVID Still Can’t, a virtual awareness and fundraising campaign. Hundreds of donors unleashed their generosity and gave an impressive $325,013 to support the ongoing work being done by The Nuxhall Foundation and its next big dream.
“It’s just another one of those ‘wow’ moments for us as we think about all the unbelievable people who believe in what we do,” says Kim Nuxhall, volunteer President and Chairman of The Nuxhall Foundation. “We are continually in awe of the trust and belief that so many people have in us to serve our special needs athletes. My dad is looking down over us with a huge smile right now, and we are filled with tremendous gratitude.”
After cancelling their annual in-person fundraiser, the Miracle Ball, because of a resurgence in the global pandemic, the organization pivoted in a new direction. COVID Still Can’t, the virtual awareness and fundraising campaign supporting The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields, launched on November 8 and ran through Giving Tuesday, November 30. This was the second straight year that the Foundation needed to cancel their in-person event and move to a virtual format. The results of this year’s virtual campaign exceeded the previous year’s final tally by more than 85%.
“Cancelling our biggest in-person fundraiser with so many exciting moments to celebrate was a real heartbreaker,” says Tyler Bradshaw, Executive Director of The Nuxhall Foundation. “Our donors have given us a reason to celebrate yet again with this jaw-dropping show of support."
This year’s campaign was kickstarted with a $25,000 matching grant given by The Hatton Foundation and Walt Lunsford of 9258 Wealth Management. After meeting the match in a fast-paced four days, an anonymous donor offered a $15,000 matching gift. These matching gifts were attained by donors who gave what they could, with donations ranging from $10 to a gift of $100,000.
“Our supporters are actively engaged in helping us make another miracle,” says Nuxhall. “The dreams we have are undoubtedly ambitious; but we now have a firm foundation to start breathing life into a brand-new chapter in the history of The Nuxhall Foundation.”
A major portion of the funds raised from this year’s campaign will be dedicated towards construction of The Hope Center: a 28,000 square foot indoor facility for special needs athletes. This one-of-a-kind facility will be home to the Butler County Special Olympics and will feature a basketball arena, adaptable fitness and multipurpose facility, miniature bowling alleys, and other unique amenities designed specifically for athletes with special needs. Remaining funds will be used to fund ongoing operations at the current facility.
Throughout the campaign, supporters of the organization viewed stories of players, families, volunteers, and celebrity supporters in more than 50 videos created by Little Brown Dog Productions. These authentic stories reminded viewers why The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields are a unique gem in the Greater Cincinnati community, and the impact was resounding.
“Just as important as the funds that were raised,” says Bradshaw, “are the stories that were told throughout the campaign. We shared the stories of our players, families, volunteers and supporters for an entire month, and the common theme that wove all those stories together is hope. It’s no coincidence that those stories will serve as the catalyst for the hope we will give in our quest to create the world’s most comprehensive campus for athletes with special abilities.”
The Nuxhall Foundation is the legacy foundation for former Major League Baseball pitcher and longtime Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, Joe Nuxhall. A central project of The Nuxhall Foundation is The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields—an entirely accessible baseball and recreational facility where every player with every challenge gets every chance to play. More than 200 players between ages 4 to 78 participate in programs at the Miracle League Fields.