Ridgefield’s first fully ADA-compliant baseball field will be dedicated to a family that’s familiar with giving back to the community.
The Jensen family, who opened the nonprofit Prospector Theater in 2014 with a mission of providing meaningful employment to adults with disabilities, will be the sponsors of Ridgefield Little League’s new lighted baseball field on Route 7.
Ridgefield Little League unveiled the name Jensen Field in a press release Saturday, April 13.
“The game the Jensen’s have always loved will now be more accessible for players and spectators of all mobility levels,” said RLL spokesperson Tom Rotunno. “They immediately became one of the first families to throw their support behind the project in 2017.”
“Our family loves Little League and we love including people with disabilities in meaningful activities in the community to improve the quality of the community as a whole,” said Valerie Jensen, founder and executive director of the Prospector Theater.
“When teams of mixed ability play as they will be able to on Jensen Field we gain understanding, sportsmanship and empathy for one another.”
Jensen Field will feature state-of-the-art LED lights and will be the pride of the Ridgefield Little League, at no expense to the town.
“Thanks to the Jensen’s and the support of hundreds of other Ridgefield families, 100% of the costs to build the field and all future operating and maintenance expenses will be covered through our fundraising campaign and annual operating budget,” said Steve Scalzo, president of Ridgefield Little League.
“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the Jensens and the generosity of so many other Ridgefield families and we can’t thank them enough.”
Construction of Jensen Field is in the final stages, with the lights and scoreboard already in place. The field will soon be sodded to be ready for spring baseball.
For the Jensen’s the opportunity to combine the family’s love of baseball and mission to support people with disabilities was just too perfect to pass up.
“(Imagine when) the game is over and teams line up and say ‘good game,’ ‘good game’ and players high five a teammate in a wheelchair … in a wheelchair … in baseball?” said Jensen. “Yes ‘Yogi’ we found the fork in the road and we took it!”
The new field’s impact is something the family hopes will be felt well beyond the baseball diamond itself.
“Our town will be stronger, our Little League age children and parents will learn important life lessons on and off the new field” Jensen said. “Now we can all play ball!”
Editor’s note: Ridgefield Little League is still offering a number of ways for families to get involved in supporting the new field, including purchasing an engraved brick to be displayed at the field and other sponsorship opportunities. For more information please contact Michael Bucciero, VP of Baseball Operations, at Fundraising@ridgefieldlittleleague.org