By Eric Braun 
TOMS RIVER – A dream and a project that started back in 2013 is finally becoming a reality for Christian Kane and everyone associated with the Toms River Field of Dreams.
In 2012, a fully-loaded beer truck plowed into Kane’s vehicle that he was driving, along with his 19-month-old son Gavin, who was sitting in the backseat, and left with severe brain trauma.  Since the accident, Kane has wanted to provide Gavin and other kids with special needs a place to play. 
The Field of Dreams will be a venue where once again and maybe for the first time, the special youngsters like Gavin and many others can experience the joy of being a kid.  The project has envisioned parents who understand how important it is for those with special needs to have a place where they can feel normal, and it’s become a crusade for a father with a background in athletics.
“Our older son, Owen, plays locally in baseball leagues and stuff,” Kane said, “And over the summer, my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Gavin is never going to be able to do anything like this.’ So from there the whole thing kind of steamrolled.”  
Now there’s a piece of land donated by the town, a realized business plan to raise $1.2 million from partnerships, grants and donations, and schematics that show a baseball field. The facility, which will host leagues, also features a playground, miniature golf course and picnic area. The key is it is all designed for youngsters with disabilities.
The Toms River Field of Dreams project is on a mission to encourage and engage the communities (Monmouth and Ocean counties), with a focus on those with special needs, in physical and social activity by building a community complex to provide opportunities for all individuals of all ages and  all abilities to engage, explore and socialize together.
The three-acre parcel of land at Bey Lea Park (North Bay Avenue) has finally begun construction and the vision is becoming a reality.  Bey Lea Park is centrally located within Toms River, with accessibility to the Garden State Parkway and a long-term commitment from the Township of Toms River. 
Upon completion of the complex, the Field of Dreams will feature a walking path, a temperature-controlled pavilion, complimentary snack shack, courts for basketball, bocce and shuffle board, a state-of-the-art all-inclusive playground, quiet corner, baseball field and rehabilitative fitness stations.  The complex is open to all residents of surrounding towns and counties.
The Field of Dreams will provide engaging interactive areas, events for music and art appreciation, organized leagues for special needs baseball and basketball, as well as quiet spaces for observation, reflection, and reorganizing.  After the completion of the complex, the hope is to increase awareness of the special needs community and provide an inclusive environment in which all can play and interact together. Toms River and its surrounding communities will also benefit from being the only area in New Jersey with a complex specifically developed for special needs individuals.  It will serve as a sustainable landmark and a significant accomplishment for the town.  As an open, public space, the Toms River Field of Dreams will be an inclusive environment for the entire community to enjoy all year round.
Upcoming events to benefit the Toms River Field of Dreams project are:
Saturday, April 6, 9am to 5pm
Join us as we celebrate our 11th anniversary by helping make the Field of Dreams come true. There will be contests, food trucks, vendors, balloon animals, massage chairs, a DJ, and more! There will even be a 50/50 where the grand prize is a 7-night Carribean vacation! For more information on the event and o sign up for any contests, check out
Join us at 10 am for our “Bring a Friend” Boot Camp Workout! $25 per person includes a t-shirt and post-workout snacks! Doors open at 9 am for registration.
At 12 noon it’s time for the Dream Day 2-on-2 Cornhole Tournament! Registration opens at 11 am. Everyone loves cornhole! $50 per team (2 people) includes a t-shirt for each “Cornholer.” $100 prize to the winning team!
At 3 pm, we kick off our 6 vs. 6 Dodgeball Tournament! There will be Best Uniform Contest! The team with the best uniforms will win a cool $100! Check-in and on-site registration opens at 2 PM.
Saturday, April 13, 9 am to 11 pm
The MAX Challenge of Toms River will be having a fundraising event for the Toms River Field of Dreams. The event will consist of a fun, 1-hour MAX workout with 50/50s and gift basket raffles! If you don’t want to workout, spectators are more than welcome! Can’t wait to see you bright and early. $10 minimum donation at the door.
Please visit  to help donate and spread the word about #TRFOD and help get the word out by sharing this article along with the hashtag #TRFOD to all of your social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.