Five years ago, a successful Oklahoma City couple were invited on a school bus tour of the Oklahoma City school districts athletic facilities. They were shocked by what they saw, overgrown or barren fields, crumbling dugouts and benches, broken down bleachers.
Tim and Liz McLaughlin, despite not having any kids in the district, decided they had to do something and boy have they!
They founded Fields and Futures. So far, they've completely renovated 20 athletic fields in the OKC district, with the ultimate goal of transforming students' lives by getting them involved in athletics.
It's working, and it's become a model for other cities.
Cal Ripken, the iron man of Major League Baseball, so believes in what they're doing he's partnering with Fields and Futures. Former Oklahoma Sooners football coach Bob Stoops will be the keynote speaker at tomorrow night's fundraiser event in Bricktown. OU AD Joe Castiglione is a supporter and Wes Welker is a major supporter.
I have been honored to emcee all of the ribbon cuttings on the new fields and the banquets, too. I've been astonished how Fields and Futures has turned neglected ball fields into showplaces student-athletes can be proud of and the community can rally around.
They're almost halfway home with 22 more fields to go. If you'd like to get in on this amazing transformation, check out Fields and Futures on Facebook.
I'm Kelly Ogle and that's My 2 Cents.