POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Hundreds of people had a little fun at Poland Softball Fields for the annual Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities softball game Friday.
It was a chance to bring hundreds in the community together.
“We got announcing going on. We have them hitting the ball. They’re running. They’re just having a good time,” said George Gabriel, service and support administrator for the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
That’s the heart of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities annual softball game, nearly 400 players were in the dugouts or hitting homers on three fields with about a hundred staff there to help.
Community Services Director Emily Martinez says it’s all about helping those with disabilities live their best, most independent lives.
“They are an equal citizen like everyone else, with or without a disability. And it’s well known that everyone does best when you’re out in your community connected with others around you, socializing,” said Martinez.
Most of all, the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities says the game is a great way to bring people together and have a little fun.
“Some of these folks are in different places and they know each other, but they don’t get to see each other. And this is an opportunity for them to see each other and to be baseball players for at least a day,” said Gabriel.
The board took a break from the annual game during the height of the pandemic. This is the 11th year and Martinez says it’s a fresh start for their clients after the isolation of the pandemic.
“So many people with developmental disabilities were really inside for so long with no ability to come out. And we’re really trying to get people back into the community in a healthy and safe way,” said Martinez.