R&T Signature Grill hosting Miracle League fundraisers

Dan Kaplan, owner of R&T Signature Grill, donates check for Miracle League to Sandy Robinson, executive board member and fundraising cochair, with Elijah DeArmas (left) and Anthony Nodarse (right).

R&T Signature Grill recently began its special fundraising efforts on behalf of the Miracle League of Miami-Dade.

Dan Kaplan, the restaurant’s owner hit upon an idea to attract customers to his new eatery while fundraising. On the third Friday of every month from 4 to 10 p.m., 15 percent of all purchases will be donated to the Miracle League. Donations will help fund the construction of the first league baseball field in Miami designed specifically for children with special needs.

When speaking of his charitable efforts for the league Kaplan said, “I’ve always known that giving back is good for business and good for the community. Every kid and parent should have the opportunity to experience sports and the joy of sports.”

The field where dreams of baseball will, at last, be realized by children with special needs begins with the Howard Palmetto Baseball Softball Association (HPBSA), a longstanding organization that has been integral to youth sports in South Florida since 1962. HPBSA offers boys and girls Tball, baseball, and softball played in the parks of Miami-Dade County, Village of Palmetto Bay and Village of Pinecrest. In 2011, HPBSA turned its attention to building a program for children with special needs.

The goal of the newly formed Miracle League of Miami-Dade is to construct a new type of baseball field that removes the barriers that keep children with special needs from enjoying one of America’s most popular sports. Fundraising for the $1.5 million project was given a major boost by a $100,000 donation from the Florida Marlins.

Nationally, there are 235 Miracle Leagues in the U.S., many of which receive significant financial support from Major League Baseball teams. The league has partnered with Miami-Dade County Parks to locate the field at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St.

Keith Reilly, executive board member and co-chair of the Miracle League, has been, according to co-chair Karl Sturge, the “fuel” behind the idea.

“The impetus for this was having a child with special needs come to the HPBSA and having no way for him to play. This effort has already proven to be a tremendous success for families and the league,” said Reilly.

Anthony Nodarse and his mother, Grissel, attended the event. Anthony and other children with special needs were looking forward to their first game to be played in the beginning of November. Wearing his new baseball shirt, Anthony proudly smiled for the camera.

“It has been so hard to find some place for him to play baseball. He wasn’t accepted. I signed him up for the Miracle League. He just wants to play,” said Grissel, fighting back tears.

Roasters ’n Toasters (open for breakfast and lunch) recently added a new concept to their business, the R&T Signature Grill, a family and sports-oriented lunch and dinner spot. Roasters ’n Toasters (established in 1984) is a New York-style deli and catering business. Roasters ’n Toasters has three locations — in Pinecrest, Skylake and Miami Beach. R&T Signature Grill is located at 9471 S. Dixie Hwy., in Pinecrest, across from Shorty’s.

For more information, call 305-663-3000 or visit the website at www.rntsignaturegrill.com. To get involved with the Miracle League, visit its website at www.miracleleagueofmiami.org

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