How It All Started
It all started with a dad who loves baseball. Ron Kampff first volunteered as a coach when his now grown sons began playing t-ball. Over time, Ron’s passion for the game grew. His love of the sport inspired him to bring Challenger Baseball to Webster in 2001. Today, there are 400 athletes playing Challenger Baseball throughout the Greater Rochester region.
Challenger teams are given the lowest priority for field availability and only get to play if fields are not in use by other Little League, school or town teams. When they are able to play, they play on traditional fields with raised surfaces, including dirt or grass that can be safety hazards for wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players, and have to safely navigate uneven terrain.
Ron began to dream about building a Miracle Field here in Monroe County, and he has worked tirelessly to make the field a reality. He has donated thousands of hours to spread the word about Challenger Baseball and the Miracle Field, raise funds and enlist the support of countless partners. Ron’s passion is infectious and his motives so pure he has helped to secure:
- The donation of land – a 5-acre site at the Ridge Park Athletic Complex, generously donated by the Town of Webster
- The partnership and in-kind support of such companies as LeChase Construction Services, Mason Digital and Webster Parks and Recreation
- The commitment of 22 partner agencies, including Holy Childhood, Special Olympics and Heritage Christian Services, whose clients will participate in programs at the field
- The gift of time from thousands of volunteers who serve as “buddies,” and play a critical role in creating a safe environment by assisting the athletes in the areas of batting, base running and defense, as needed
- Philanthropic support of more than $500,000 (a combination of cash-in-hand and pledges) toward the construction of the Miracle Field and an adjoining barrier-free playground
Ron, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, have formed a new non-profit organization, Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, and hope to raise enough funds toward the $2 million project to begin construction in the fall of 2016.