KAY COUNTY, Okla. - Life can sometimes throw curve balls, and the playing field is not always even.
It is often not how you play a game, but why?
These are lessons far greater than any number on the scoreboard.
"If you go to anything in this community, a baseball game, a football game,” Jayme Moss said. “Those kids are the kids you see in the bleachers cheering the loudest and the happiest, and he just thought there was a need for these kids to be able to play a game of their own."
Their excitement is so genuine, even though they can’t play along.
But a few years ago, Rocky Wood decided to change that and formed Kara’s Game: a t-ball league for special needs children.
"Rocky has come into the convenient store where I work for as long as I've worked there," Jayme said.
Jayme nominated him for Pay It 4Ward and $400 was donated by First Fidelity Bank.
"The dedication and the commitment that Rocky Wood and all of the volunteers have put into making Kara's Game possible, have truly made a difference in the lives of the special needs and the community of Kay County,” Jennalee Hunter of First Fidelity Bank said. “So on behalf of First Fidelity Bank, it's my pleasure to present him with this $400."
But that is not the only surprise Rocky Wood is about to get. An entire bus of Kara’s Game players are in on the surprise, as well.
Jayme, along with NewsChannel 4, traveled to a neighboring town where Rocky works, parked out of sight, and one by one the students sneaked off the bus.
The students then hid behind a building and marched inside to surprise Rocky.
"Rocky, as you can clearly see, this is NewsChannel 4, and I nominated you and Kara's Game for Pay It 4Ward,” Jayme said.
"Thank you very much,” Rocky said.
Kara’s Game was named after Kara Mitchell, a young girl in town with special needs. She passed away a few years ago but her memory did not.
"To let that family know that she wasn't forgotten in the shadows,” Rocky said. “She was recognized. A lot of people didn't know her, and that's the whole point of this, is awareness. One thing about it, over the last four years instead of being not shunned in school or looked upon different..."
They are now accepted.
"It's high-fives. 'Hey, Rocky, how you doing? Hey, Caden.' It's brought the community closer for kids awareness,” Rocky said. “They're not different. They're not sick. They're just kids. A lot of these families have exceptional medical costs. So for these kids to get to do this, that's why we do it, as happy as they are. When we first started it was all about fun, and now the older kids, it's competition."
There is no cost to play, and no disability is turned away.
"They always feel like they're in the shadows,” Rocky said. “They don't get the spotlight."
But here, all kids hit a home run. Some just take a little different route to get there.
Rocky says the money will be used to help buy equipment for the league or to help build a handicap accessible ball field.
Click here for more information. visit the league’s Facebook page.
Pay it 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.