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Beautiful People break ground for Fratto Field, a place fo adaptive sports at the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park


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  • On Sunday, May 31, a day the forecasters had predicted would have a 100 per cent chance of rain, the skies began to clear and the sun even shone for awhile as hundreds of dignitaries, officials, volunteers and visitors turned out to celebrate the official ground-breaking and dedication of The Daniel Fratto Memorial Field at the new Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park. Dignitaries, officials, volunteers posing for the photograph are flanked by Shannon Sutton and Jim Schalck, both in wheelchairs, who are volunteers on the Beautiful People Sports Park Development Task Force. Sutton's parents are also on the task force.




  • Beautiful People is a non-profit 501 (3) c organization headquartered in Warwick and directed by Jan Brunkhorst, pictured here.




  • Photos by Roger Gavan Jillian Dolce (left), pictured with Daniel Fratto's parents, Danielle and Mike Fratto, organized three Bowl-a-thons and raised $35,000 for the project.




  • Shortly after the groundbreaking ceremonies on Sunday the Beautiful PeopleþÄôs Mets and Yankees teams played an exhibition game and each player was paired with a þÄúbuddy,þÄù a member that day of the Warwick Valley High School Varsity baseball or softball teams, who assisted them as they hit, round the bases, and fielded the balls.




  • A conceptual design of the final project.




By Roger Gavan

— On a day forecasters predicted would have 100 percent chance of rain, the skies began to clear.

The sun on this Sunday, May 31, even shone for awhile as hundreds of dignitaries, officials, volunteers and visitors turned out to celebrate the official ground-breaking and dedication of The Daniel Fratto Memorial Field at the new Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park.

An adjacent field at the park and an older field, formerly part of the closed Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, will have a traditional surface for public use.

One person's initiative In 2011, Daniel Fratto, then a junior at Minisink High School, organized a walk and raised $15,000 to help fund a safe surface rubberized sports field for children who are unable to play mainstream team sports.

Fratto, the son of Mike and Danielle Fratto, was also one of those children. His combined immune deficiency syndrome prevented him from playing on the field but he performed a valuable service as the official sports announcer for Beautiful People, a non-profit organization that provides adaptive sports for children and young adults with disabilities.

Fratto passed away in December 2012, shortly after he turned 19.

A friend picks up the ballHis friend Jillian Dolce then organized three bowl-a-thons in his memory and raised an additional $35,000 toward Fratto's goal.

The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2016 season.

"We have to raise about $350,000 all together," said Beautiful People volunteer Alexandra Romano, "but Daniel Fratto and his friend Jillian have given us a good start with a combined total of about $50,000."

'Be part of our lives'Beautiful People is a non-profit 501 (3) c organization headquartered in Warwick and directed by Jan Brunkhorst. It was founded in 2006 by its Chairman Peter Ladka, owner of Parse3, a software development company.

The name of the organization comes from what Ladka and his other organizers wanted to express: "You are beautiful people to us. We want to reach out and be a part of your lives."

Beautiful People's stated mission is "to build bridges between children with disabilities and their families and the broader community of Orange County by providing adaptive sports for children and young adults, age 5 and up."

The organization is partnered with Miracle League, a national organization that has been providing baseball for children with disabilities since 2000.

Shortly after the ground-breaking ceremonies on Sunday, the Beautiful People's Mets and Yankees teams played an exhibition game and each player was paired with a "buddy," a member that day of the Warwick Valley High School Varsity baseball or softball teams, who assisted them as they hit, round the bases and fielded the balls.

The all-day festival, chaired by Kim Corkum, included live musical and other entertainment along with food and refreshments. The ceremonies were emceed by Beautiful People Board Secretary and General Council Jeremy Havens.

Essential informationFor additional information about Beautiful People Adaptive Sports or to make a donation or volunteer visit www.beautiful-people.us






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