Thanks to gracious volunteers, clients served by the Fairfield County Disabilities and Special Needs Board shared in the American past time of baseball Thursday night.
Some clients used electric wheelchairs to run bases made of pizza boxes inside of the First Church of the Nazarene in Winnsboro.
Around 55 clients served by the Fairfield County Disabilities and Special Needs Board gathered for a pizza supper, fellowship and then a modified version of wiffle ball.
The evening was organized by cancer survivor Channing Proctor of Charleston who has a son with autism. Proctor and five other men were on the first leg of a benefit bike ride from Charlotte to Charleston.
After a 70-plus mile ride that day, they energetically played wiffle ball with the clients.
For Proctor the night was doubly sweet because he met the goal he set when he underwent cancer treatment within the past year that he would be able to do this year’s ride.
The ride benefits the PlayToday! Foundation that promotes play opportunities for people of all abilities with a core focus on those with special needs.
Proceeds from the ride benefit the Charleson Miracle League, a baseball league for persons with disabilities and special needs.
The riders were mindful of their health during the event with Dr. Rick Bolt, accompanying them as support staff.
Proctor battled leg cramps in his thighs and hamstrings on the first day of the journey and at times had to stop and carry his bicycle, but he and his team, including persevered.
Some of the clients included residents of special needs houses throughout Winnsboro such as the house on Pine Street, at Sand Creek Hills, on Vanderhorst Street and on Woodbury, said Becky Swearington with Fairfield County Disability and Special Needs.
One rider, a college roommate of Proctor’s, came from Colorado for the event while the others are from the Charleston area.
Two games of wiffle ball went on simultaneously, one for clients who felt they could hit a pitch and another for those who preferred to hit from a batting tee.
Staff members even joined in with the recreational therapy. The smiles and spirit shown by the clients relayed the purity of sport and games for the sake of having fun, something that sometimes is lost in today’s ultra-competitive athletic culture.
Proctor said he had raised over $1,200 himself and other riders had received donations as well. They were thankful for all the volunteers and staff who helped make the event a success and thanked Winnsboro for being so welcoming.
The riders appreciate the sponsorship of Northbridge Family Practice, Affordabike, Atlas Physical Therapy, the Kickin’ Chicken, Good Natured Gardening, Richard’s Automotive and the Fairfield Medical Association.
The next leg of the journey took the riders to Orangeburg with the ride concluding in Charleston on Saturday.