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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Margie gets a chance at a dream

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I sat down to put to paper a lot of really elegant words. Then I realized that simple ones would suffice.

This is Margie Simmons. She's 13 years old. She loves Justin Beiber and the Black-Eyed Peas and is looking forward to the June premiere of Transformers 3. Her favorite color is yellow. She's crazy good at playing Grand Theft Auto on her PSP. She often troubleshoots computer problems for her dad. A few months ago she won first place in her age group in a bowling tournament. She had plastic surgery in March because she loves playing basketball, and took a direct hit to the nose.

She's the funniest person I know.

I'm a better person because she's in my life.

In their kindness, sometimes folks talk to her loudly, as if she is hard of hearing. Or they speak to her with baby talk, assuming her understanding is limited. She's patient with each of them. What she wants -- most of all -- is to be treated as a 'typical' teenager. What I'm most passionate about is ensuring she has the opportunity to be one.

In a town known statewide - and nationally - for being a pre-eminent presence in youth sports, I was surprised no organized team opportunities existed for children with physical and mental challenges. Maybe we forgot. Maybe we were waiting for someone else to do it.

No matter. Thanks to the Angels League, Shelbyville has the seed of the idea in place. It's time for people who love the game -- be it baseball, football, basketball, soccer, track -- to find a way to make sports accessible to the children in our community.

If what you have to give is time, money, expertise, equipment -- here's a cause that's super-easy to get behind -- and one whose time is well overdue.

Margie and the Angels League play Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. at the Babe Ruth fields at H. V. Griffin Park. Contact Wendy Stacy at (931) 224-0888 for more information.

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Tracy Simmons
Spirited Scribe