Miracle League’s ‘COVID Still Can’t’ campaign raises $324K

Kim Nuxhall speaks to the Hamilton West Side Little League All-Star team that were honored for their performance in the Little League World Series with a parade and ceremony on the stage at RiversEdge Amphitheater Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Kim Nuxhall speaks to the Hamilton West Side Little League All-Star team that were honored for their performance in the Little League World Series with a parade and ceremony on the stage at RiversEdge Amphitheater Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Kim Nuxhall couldn’t believe last year The Nuxhall Foundation raised nearly $170,000 with the COVID Can’t campaign when the Miracle Ball was forced to be canceled.

A year later, the Miracle Ball was once again canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year’s COVID Still Can’t campaign nearly doubled the inaugural virtual fundraising total with more than $324,613 raised, said Nuxhall, the foundation’s volunteer president and chairman. Nuxhall and Tyler Bradshaw, the foundation’s executive director, said this is proof that the pandemic can’t stop the mission established by the Ol’ Lefthander, Joe Nuxhall, decades ago.

“It’s just another one of those ‘wow’ moments for us as we think about all the unbelievable people who believe in what we do,” Nuxhall said. “We are continually in awe of the trust and belief that so many people have in us to serve our special needs athletes. My dad is looking down over us with a huge smile right now, and we are filled with tremendous gratitude.”

COVID Still Can’t is the foundation’s virtual awareness and fundraising campaign supporting The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. It launched on Nov. 8 and ran through Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30. The final donation tally was announced last week.

“Canceling our biggest in-person fundraiser with so many exciting moments to celebrate was a real heartbreaker,” Bradshaw said. “Our donors have given us a reason to celebrate yet again with this jaw-dropping show of support.

This year’s campaign was kickstarted with a $25,000 matching grant given by The Hatton Foundation and Walt Lunsford of 9258 Wealth Management. Four days later, an anonymous donor offered a $15,000 matching gift. Those donations were matched by donors giving as little as $10 to a large gift of $100,000.

“Our supporters are actively engaged in helping us make another miracle,” said Nuxhall. “The dreams we have are undoubtedly ambitious, but we now have a firm foundation to start breathing life into a brand-new chapter in the history of The Nuxhall Foundation.”

A major portion of the funds raised from this year’s campaign will be dedicated towards the construction of The Hope Center, a 28,000-square-foot indoor facility for special needs athletes. The facility will be home to the Butler County Special Olympics and is planned to feature a basketball arena, adaptable fitness and multipurpose facility, miniature bowling alleys, and other unique amenities designed specifically for athletes with special needs.

Remaining funds will be used to fund ongoing operations at the Miracle League Field facility.

“Just as important as the funds that were raised are the stories that were told throughout the campaign,” said Bradshaw. “We shared the stories of our players, families, volunteers, and supporters for an entire month, and the common theme that wove all those stories together is hope. It’s no coincidence that those stories will serve as the catalyst for the hope we will give in our quest to create the world’s most comprehensive campus for athletes with special abilities.”

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