T.H. Rogers student Phineas Armstrong was recognized recently in a somewhat unconventional manner: a baseball diamond was named in his honor—but next year, it might actually be in a different location.
The dedication of “Phinny’s Field” took place on the campus of T.H. Rogers last month during Camp M.I. Way, which provides students with multiple impairments with daily opportunities to practice their communication skills. And though that campus has consistently hosted the event every summer for the past decade, if the camp ever moves, the name will travel along with it to wherever it may be held in the future.
“The dedication is more of a concept, based on how they play,” explained Phinny’s mother, Ardon Armstrong. “Because wherever they are is what’s best for them. It can take place in a hallway or in the cafeteria. It’s everywhere.”
Dr. Deborah Carr, who coordinates Camp M.I. Way each year through the organization she founded, Home Run Hitters Intl. (HRHI), said that the field was dedicated as a gesture of thanks to Phinny’s parents, whom she said were “the first and most consistent” to donate money on behalf of their child.
“Phinny’s parents and uncles and aunts have all given donations to HRHI on behalf of Phinny,” said Dr. Carr. “So we dedicated the baseball field in his honor. No matter where we are and what we’re playing during Camp M.I. Way, we’ll call that outside area Phinny’s Field.”
“Hosting Camp M.I. Way is just one more way for us to show that we embrace everyone,” noted T.H. Rogers Principal David Muzyka. “We welcome unique and different learners, and other organizations also use our facilities. Be an Angel teaches American Sign Language classes in the evenings, the Hotshots (a Special Olympics’ adult volleyball team) practice in our gym, and Caring Critters trains its animal therapy dogs here.”
This was the first year for Camp M.I. way to be funded entirely through donations. Major supporters this year included the Children’s Fund, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, and Maribelle’s golf tournament. Dr. Carr said she hopes to expand the program to serve additional students in the future.