Abigail's Plan, a baseball league for people with disabilities, is now one step closer to reaching its fundraising goal for the construction of a rubberized field. Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced the non-profit organization is the winner of the second annual Fuel the Cause neighborhood transformation contest. The organization will receive a $25,000 gift from Bridgestone.
"This year's Fuel the Cause program was another great success with 12 noteworthy groups making it to the final round," said Erik Seidel, vice president of brand marketing, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. "We are excited to see Abigail's Plan bring a rubberized field to Tennessee to help bring its team members a far better experience during game play. Congratulations to Abigail's Plan supporters and players and many thanks to all who voted and participated in the contest."
The prize win will help Abigail's Plan build Tennessee's first Miracle League rubberized field. Playing on a regular field with a grass and dirt surface is often very difficult for disabled players with walking issues. The dirt and debris from the field surface gets into the brake systems of the wheelchairs and walkers and causes damage to this expensive equipment.
Fuel the Cause is designed to foster game-changing innovation in local communities and identify educational, environmental, safety and other community-based initiatives that would benefit from a transformation funded by Bridgestone. In the 2015 contest, more than 182,000 public votes were cast through the Bridgestone Fuel the Cause online portal.
This was the second year for the Bridgestone Fuel the Cause contest. To enter the contest, consumers were asked to submit photos and a 500-word essay describing their project and explaining how contest prize money would be used to transform their initiative. The entry with the highest number of online consumer votes was selected as the grand-prize winner.
The following organizations also received prize money from the program:
- First Place: Rescue Team Needs Building, Escanaba, Michigan
- Second Place: Thayer Acres Agriculture Center, Thayer, Kansas
- First Runner Up: The Gift Of Music: Shared for a Lifetime, Garrets, South Dakota
- First Runner Up: Olympia Pacesetters 4-h Club's Helping Hands Community Center and Stanford Sprouts Community Garden, Stanford, Illinois
- First Runner Up: Pantry to Empower, Lyman, South Carolina
- Second Runner Up: Schuyler County Council on Aging, Lancaster, Missouri
- Second Runner Up: Cub Manufacturing, Madison, Indiana
- Second Runner Up: Livingston Outdoor Adventures Inc., Moncton, New Brunswick
- Third Runner Up: Eastland Backpack Program, Eastland, Texas
- Third Runner Up: Custom Canine Service Dog Academy, Madison, Wisconsin
- Third Runner Up: Casa Boricua Program Space Revitalization Project, Meriden, Connecticut