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Iowa Cubs’ $40,000 donation to Kiwanis Miracle League will spur scoreboard project

Nonprofit plans season opener May 7, after 2 years of pandemic shutdowns


From left, Sam Bernabe, Bob Mitchell, Jan Burch and Randy Wehofer

The Iowa Cubs recently donated nearly $40,000 to the Kiwanis Miracle League, following the sale of the I-Cubs to California-based sports entertainment group Endeavor. The donation, presented by the ball club to the charitable organization on Jan. 3, represented the proceeds of the club’s charitable trust fund that was liquidated as part of the sale process, Miracle League officials announced on Tuesday.

The “most unexpected” donation totaled $39,807.14, which Kiwanis Miracle League’s president, Jan Burch, said will help spearhead fundraising for a planned third phase of improvements to the Miracle League ballpark. The specially built ball field for children with special needs opened across the street from Principal Park in 2008.

The I-Cubs have made past donations to the Miracle League from the proceeds of its 50-50 Drive raffle, which had accrued 50% of the proceeds of each raffle to the ball club’s charitable trust. Sam Bernabe, general manager of the Iowa Cubs, with Randy Wehofer, vice president and assistant general manager, formally presented a check to Burch and her husband, Bob Mitchell, the treasurer of Kiwanis Miracle League, in January.

“We’re very much partners with the Iowa Cubs,” Burch told the Business Record, noting that the Kiwanis Miracle League also leases the land on which the Miracle League field is built from the I-Cubs. “We’re good partners.”

Kiwanis Miracle League is currently in the early stages of planning for a third phase of improvements to the ballpark. The nonprofit is raising funds to purchase and install a video scoreboard for the ballpark. Two initial phases of improvements added a new rubberized safety surface for the field, followed by additional landscaping and a metal roof over the stands.

“We look at [the video scoreboard] as a good installation for the ballpark,” Burch said. “Thanks to the Iowa Cubs for such a great starter for this project.” The timing of the project is still fluid, she said.

Following two years of canceled seasons due to the pandemic, the field will come to life again on May 7 for the opening game of its 2022 season. “The kids are really excited about that, as we haven’t played for so long,” Burch said.

The organization is currently updating its website with additional information about the fundraising campaign, which should be available by early next week, she said.  

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