By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – When New Albany hosts its 15th annual Frog-A-Nanny celebration Friday night, event organizer Kelly Coltharp will be paying special attention to the participants’ faces.
The community event highlights a pair of baseball games that will be played by 70 children and adults with various disabilities. This year’s festivities at the Sportsplex include a parade, a cookout, an Elvis concert and a 5K race.
“For me, the most memorable part is just seeing the children react to the fun they’re having, just seeing the expression on their faces,” Coltharp said.
“It is the best feeling when you see them act like kids first and realize they don’t take that for granted. They appreciate the simple opportunity to play baseball. That is something they don’t get to do every day.”
Coltharp, Special Services director for New Albany Schools, fought for the event 15 years ago to give the children an opportunity to be in the spotlight and play baseball.
She’s seen audience participation grow from about 20 to more than 100.
The event’s name was derived from the Frog-A-Nal event that New Albany used to hold to raise funds for the Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education. Provence’s nickname was “Frog.” Coltharp added the “Nanny” to honor her late mother.
Proceeds from the 7 p.m. race, or any donations made Friday night, will benefit special needs students in New Albany Schools.
This is the first year that a race has been part of Frog-A-Nanny.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– All events are at the New Albany Sportsplex
– 4:30 p.m. Parade
– 5 p.m. Baseball games
– 6 p.m. Elvis concert and cookout
– 7 p.m. 5K race (race participants can preregister at www.newalbanyschools.us, or they can register Friday night)
– All events are free except the race, which has a $25 entry free.