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22

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FALL WINTER 2017

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WWW.ORLANDPARK.ORG WWW.ORLANDPARK.ORG

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FALL WINTER 2017

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23

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Orland Park’s Zachary Stack is on

a mission to share the sport that he’s

played most of his life. 

Stack began playing baseball with

the Orland Youth Association when

he was four years old. He has

played for the Warriors Travel Team

since he was eight and now plays

for the Warriors 16U Travel Team. 

A lifelong resident of Orland Park,

Stack is on a mission to add to the

baseball offerings in the community

with the development of an accessible

baseball field. He is the eldest of

Tammy and Ken Stack’s three children. 

“One of my sister’s friends at

Cardinal Bernardin School told me

that he played a baseball game

at a field that was specifically for

those with special needs. I had

played ball at that complex and was

somewhat familiar with the field,”

Stack explained. “When I found

out that Orland Park didn’t have

something like this, I knew that I

wanted to change that.” 

This type of field is created for

individuals with physical or intellectual

challenges. Any individual with these

challenges can participate.

“I’ve played baseball most of my life and

I think it would be really cool if I could

help make it possible for everyone to

play ball in Orland Park,” Stack said. 

The 15-year-old Marist High School

sophomore played baseball and

basketball freshman year and was

a member of the school’s math team

that placed fifth in state. Stack will

serve as a student ambassador

during the coming academic year

and will participate with the Model

United Nations.

“When Zack brought his proposal

to the village, we were immediately

interested,” said Trustee Pat Gira,

chair of the village’s Recreation and

Parks Committee. “Orland Park has

a very active, long running special

recreation program with many

Special Olympians but we’ve never

had a challenger ballfield.”

These types of fields include a

number of modifications to help those

with special needs play baseball.

These include open spaces between

dugout benches to accommodate

wheelchairs, a state-of-the-art pour

and play surface and paved paths

from the parking lot to the field.

“I’m very proud of Zack and the

initiative he’s shown,” said Trustee

Dan Calandriello. “Adding a field

for our athletes with special needs

is huge. This opens up a whole

new world for the village’s special

recreation program.”

The estimated cost to bring a challenger

field to the village’s John Humphrey

Sports Complex is $500,000. 

“If we raise enough money, I’d like to

add restroom facilities at the site so

players can avoid having to walk far to

the nearest restroom,” Stack explained. 

An open area at the west end of

the Humphrey Complex has been

earmarked for the field at 14600

West Avenue.

“This area is perfect – the land

is flat and parking is right there,”

Gira said. “This would be a great

addition to Orland Park’s Special

Olympics Program.”

Stack is reaching out to other young

athletes from Marist and Carl

Sandburg High Schools asking for

their help to raise funds for the project.

He has also been working closely

with Orland Park Village Trustees Pat

Gira and Dan Calandriello.

“We’re thinking of a walk or a run,

some type of kick-off celebration,

and reaching out to local foundations

and businesses,” Stack said. “Our

first event was hosting a booth at the

Taste of Orland Park.  We accepted

donations and spread the word

about what we’re doing.”

Of her son’s quest to bring the field

to Orland Park, Tammy Stack said,

“My husband and I are very proud

of Zack and what he wants to

accomplish. It’s going to be a great

day in Orland Park when individuals

with special needs can play baseball

at the same complex as their peers

and siblings. This is a great project

for people now and for generations

to come.”

ORLANDPARKTEENLEADS

FUNDRAISINGEFFORTTOCREATE

ACCESSIBLEBASEBALL FIELD

MARIST HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE SHARES LOVE OF THE GAME

THE VILLAGE OF ORLAND

PARK COMMUNITY CAME

TOGETHER IN FULL FORCE

TO JOIN IN THE HURRICANE

HARVEY RELIEF EFFORTS.

Three village facilities were

designated to accept donations

from area residents and the

donations began piling up as

residents and business owners

dropped off cases of water,

diapers, non-perishable food

items and other necessities to

help the victims of the natural

disaster in Texas.

Orland Park police personnel

collected money within their

department and bought water and

sports drinks to contribute, Costco

Orland Park matched the officers’

donations. Community service officers

unload the donations that headed

to Texas on September 12.

“Other towns have special

needs accessible fields and

I thought this would be

a great addition to all

that Orland Park offers.

I’m hoping the community

comes together to help

me make this a reality

for Orland Park.”

Zachary Stack

kristinklinger

8415countryclub lane

orlandpark, il60462

708.602.40

42 kristin@quenchyourthirst.com quenchyourthirst.com

facebook.com/quenchd

Trustees Pat Gira and Dan Calandriello chat with Zack Stack at the proposed location of the special needs accessible filed.