Joe Nuxhall Miracle League parade planned

Apr. 17—The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.

The parade is a reflection of the organization's mission to provide big-league experiences for special needs athletes in Greater Cincinnati. The Nuxhall Foundation is the legacy foundation for former Major League Baseball pitcher and longtime Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, Joe Nuxhall.

The parade route begins at Sacred Heart Church in Fairfield and winds its way through the local neighborhood before ending with a short on-field ceremony at The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields.

Fairfield's Walt Lunsford has been selected as this year's parade grand marshal. Lunsford is the managing partner, president and CEO of 9258 Wealth Management. He serves as the executive director of The Hatton Foundation, and Lunsford helped establish the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields with a half-million dollar matching gift in 2011.

"Without Walt Lunsford and The Hatton Foundation, there is no Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields," said Kim Nuxhall, president and board chairman of The Nuxhall Foundation. "We aren't just honoring Walt for what he's done for our mission and my dad's legacy; we are honoring Walt because of his incredibly generous philanthropic support of so many worthy organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati. Walt is a man of character who has made many good things happen in our world, and I can't wait for his hometown to thank him at one of my favorite events of the year."

Lunsford will lead a crew of special needs all-stars from the Great Miami Valley YMCA Youth League and the Therapeutic Recreation for the Disabled (TRD) Adult League marching alongside community members and organizations including: 2022 Nuxhall Humanitarian Award Winner and Cincinnati Reds batboy Teddy Kremer, mascot Joey The Can-Do Kangaroo, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings vintage baseball team, and Cincinnati Reds mascot Gapper. Music will be provided by the drumline from Conner High School (Kentucky), along with local band The Pack Rats.

Lunsford, a 1971 graduate of Fairfield High School who later graduated from Miami University and earned additional certifications from Xavier University and Harvard University, has been recognized as one of America's top 10 outstanding financial advisers by Registered Rep Magazine. His leadership of The Hatton Foundation and through the legacy of the late Dr. E. Kenneth Hatton (a former client), millions of dollars have been given to nonprofits throughout the region to support, encourage and enhance their work.

"I met with Kim, Larry and others while the Miracle League Fields were simply a dream," said Lunsford. "I have known Kim as the result of playing Fairfield youth baseball system, and for the Fairfield Indians. It was always better to have Kim on the same team instead of the opposing team. After our initial meeting, I had no doubt that the Miracle Leagues would be a resounding addition to and success for our beloved city"

Kim Nuxhall said: "Just like the Reds and the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, we want to celebrate the start of a new season and the athletes who give us all so many reasons to smile. There's no better way to open our Joy Factory for more miracles than with a parade, and we are thankful to the community that always shows up in a big way to cheer on our all-stars."

Parade participants are encouraged to line up at Sacred Heart Church in Fairfield beginning at 9:15 a.m. (no early arrivals). Parade staff will organize the units into a parade line that begins its march towards the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields at 10 a.m. Upon arrival at the facility, a brief on-field ceremony will recognize Hartman and Miracle League all-stars from both the youth and adult leagues. Local vocalist Kim Beatty will perform the national anthem.

Fairfield and Greater Cincinnati residents are encouraged to line the streets along the route, make signs and join in the fun.

"Our all-stars and their families feed off the energy from our supporters," said Tyler Bradshaw, executive director of The Nuxhall Foundation. "When I think about how lucky we are to live where we do, I picture the hundreds and hundreds of residents who line the streets to cheer on our athletes as they march towards a new season full of opportunity and possibility."

A central project of The Nuxhall Foundation is The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields-an entirely accessible baseball and recreational facility where every player with every challenge gets every chance to play. More than 200 players between ages 4 to 80 participate in programs at the Miracle League Fields.


Parade Details

What: Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade

When: Saturday 9:15 a.m. parade lineup (Sacred Heart Church, 400 Nilles Road, Fairfield), 10 a.m. parade departure, 10:45 a.m. parade arrives at Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields, 11:15 a.m. on-field ceremony and introduction of all-stars.