Justin Donald spits red dirt from the Neshoba County Fairgrounds onto a painting he created, which will be auctioned off to raise money for Diamond Dreams.
Justin Donald spits red dirt from the Neshoba County Fairgrounds onto a painting he created, which will be auctioned off to raise money for Diamond Dreams.

Kolby Buffington is excited about the fall and a chance to participate in the Diamond Dreams Baseball League for the fourth time.




The 18-year-old looks forward to being able to play with his friends and being on the same team as his brother again. “I just like to play,” Buffington said.

Diamond Dreams is a baseball league for special needs children as young as four. The league has grown from having 11 participants its first season to 65 last year.

League coordinator Michele Maxey said 70 children are already registered to participate ahead of an Aug. 28 deadline.

The Diamond Dreams league will begin their eighth season on Sept. 25. Each of the league’s four teams will play five games before their season ends on Oct. 25.



With a goal of raising $500,000 for its own field at Northside Park, Diamond Dreams is currently selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a painting of the Neshoba County Fairgrounds created by local artist Justin Donald.

The tickets are available for $2 or six tickets can be purchased for $10. A drawing will be held on Friday. To buy a ticket, call 601-416-5913.

Maxey has been the league coordinator since the organization was started in 2011. Maxey said she became league coordinator because two other parents asked her if she would be willing to run the league.

“I still get excited every year,” Maxey said. “No matter how many times we do this, there is always something new about the experience.”

Children from five counties participate in the league. Buffington’s family lives in Leake County and found out about the league from a friend who near Philadelphia.

“It seemed like something great to get involved with,” said Kolby Buffington’s mother, Cindy.

Kolby said he enjoys all the support he receives from the community.

“I like all of the help,” he said. “Everyone is nice.”

The league currently uses the fields at Northside Park for most of their games, but they are currently working on raising funds to build their own field, which will be designed with children with special needs in mind.

“I want to make sure this is as good of an experience as it can be for the children,” Maxey said. “As long as they are having fun, we have done what we set out to do.”