Nuxhall family commits to $500K matching gift for Hope Center project

FAIRFIELD — The Nuxhall Foundation’s founding family made a major contribution to help their patriarch’s dream come true.

Joe Nuxhall’s sons, Phil and Kim, and Kim’s wife Bonnie, have pledged a $500,000 matching gift to The Nuxhall Foundation for The Hope Center project at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. The gift was announced at last weekend’s sold-out seventh annual Miracle Ball held at the Oscar Event Center in Fairfield.

“For me, it’s all about gratitude and humility,” said Kim Nuxhall, president and foundation board chairman. “How can one not be humbled when you drive on three different streets named after your father in three different cities? Or walk by his statue on the way to a Reds game or another statue at the very ballpark you grew up playing on? We make this gift in honor of my Mom and Dad with hearts full of gratitude for the dreams they inspired us to dream.”

The Hope Center is the next big project for The Nuxhall Foundation, a 28,000-square-foot, year-round indoor facility that would be the home to the Butler County Special Olympics. The center will be the next step in creating the world’s most comprehensive recreational campus for special needs athletes.

The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Field debuted in July 2012, nearly five years after the man known as the Ol’ Lefthander and Hamilton Joe died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nuxhall, who was the youngest player to appear in a Major League game, played 15 years in the majors from 1952 to 1966, not including his short stint in 1944.

The Nuxhall Foundation is the legacy foundation for Joe Nuxhall, and the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields is a central project of the foundation. It’s an entirely accessible baseball and recreational facility that hosts more than 200 players from 4 years old to 78 in programs at the Groh Lane facility.

The Hope Center will have the ability to host several sports, including basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, and karate. The building will also feature universally designed play and recreational facilities, a wheelchair-accessible zipline, accessible rock-climbing walls, a therapy suite for outside medical providers and social service agencies, and a sensory play area for children and families.

Additionally, The Hope Center will be home to the Butler County Special Abilities Hall of Fame (which will be founded and managed by The Nuxhall Foundation) and the Nuxhall Archives—a unique display of Joe Nuxhall memorabilia and artifacts from the Reds Hall of Famer’s life and career.

“Having been raised by two very giving parents, Kim and I saw how rewarding it is to be kind and giving to others,” said Phil Nuxhall, the eldest son of Joe and Donzetta Nuxhall. “And what I loved most about them was their humbleness and lack of vanity and ego. They always preferred their charitable donations to be anonymous and never, ever boasted.”

Phil Nuxhall said though he and his brother would prefer anonymity with their donation, he said, “Our hope is that it will inspire others to give and allow us to reach our goal in providing so many individuals with special needs with a facility they need and deserve so badly.”

The Hope Center project is now in the final architectural design phases. The project is expected to break ground in 2023 in hopes it will be completed sometime in 2024.

“Kim, Bonnie, and Phil Nuxhall have done so much to inspire our organization and fuel the dreams we have for the community we serve,” said Nuxhall Foundation Executive Director Tyler Bradshaw. “This unbelievably gracious gift puts us one large step closer to a dream that Joe had before he passed. It’s truly inspired, and pure class from a family that has already given so much.”


HOW TO HELP

Any individual or business wishing to donate towards the Nuxhall family matching grant in support of The Hope Center project can do so in one of three ways:

• Online: Donations can be accepted at www.nuxhallmiracleleague.org/donate and donors can choose “The Hope Center” as the given cause.

• Mail: Donations can be mailed to The Nuxhall Foundation, PO Box 18146, Fairfield, OH 45018, and write “The Hope Center” in the memo line on the check.

• Phone: To arrange a donation in some other way than online or by mail, contact Nuxhall Foundation Executive Director Tyler Bradshaw at 513-839-6164 or tyler@nuxhallmiracleleague.org.

For more information on The Hope Center, visit www.nuxhallmiracleleague.org/hope.

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