NORFOLK, Neb. -- Coming to Ta-Ha-Zouka Park this spring, the Norfolk Buddy Baseball program is a league that's designed to help those with special needs be able to play the sport of baseball.

“He's autistic,” Hoefer said. “So, we tried the whole Y T-ball thing and all that stuff, and it just didn't really work out.” 

Rather than give up on the idea of her 11-year-old son being a part of something, Rachael Hoefer went an came up with a solution to get kids, like her son Dexter, involved with activities. 

“So, Norfolk Buddy Baseball is basically a baseball league for Special Needs kiddos ages eight to 22,” Hoefer said. “What it does is it provides a place for those special needs kiddos to actually get a chance to play a game, be part of a team, interact socially.” 

The idea began when Hoefer presented this idea to the Norfolk City Council, where she was immediately granted a partnership with the city. 

“Well, these kiddos they just want to be part of things and it's very hard for a lot of them; whether it be because of their physical disabilities or their intellectual disabilities,” Hoefer said. “I wanted them to feel included. I wanted them to be happy about something they're doing and feel that success of being part of a team and doing well and having fun.” 

While there are still plenty of hurdles, Hoefer is optimistic for the future of this league.

“I would love for this to be huge, to be a sense of pride for the City of Norfolk,” Hoefer said. “I mean they're doing a great job with helping me get this program going.”

One of the larger hurdles is the number of people signing up for the program and volunteering. Hoefer said she is hoping to get more kids involved along with volunteers. 

“Volunteers is kind of where we are now," Hoefer said. "We're needing kiddos and adults to help get the program going because we need a kiddo, I need a buddy for each kiddo that's gonna sign up."

The season is set to begin in April. If you want to sign up your own child or even volunteer to be click here.