Picnic is short of record but furthers goal

The Family Y Miracle Concert featuring Amy Grant on Sunday at First Tee of Augusta didn't break the Guinness Book of World Records' mark for the largest family picnic, but it did help raise money and awareness for the Miracle League for disabled children.

"It's a needed program," said Danny McConnell, the president and chief executive officer of the Family Y, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in Augusta. "The Y has expanded, and this is the next step."

The record would have been set with 8,000 participants, but fewer than 4,000 made it to Sunday's event, according to Millie Schumacher, the Family Y's community relations director.

Those who made it enjoyed Ms. Grant, an Augusta native and singer-songwriter, best known for her contemporary Christian and pop music. She sang a variety of songs from some of her earliest hits, such as Thy Word , to some of her newer songs including Takes a Little Time .

Ms. Grant said the most important thing about the afternoon was raising money for the field.

"I'm so excited today to be raising money for these special children who long for the opportunity to be on a team," she said.

Not only did Ms. Grant donate part of the proceeds from sales of her T-shirts, books and CDs sold at the event, but before she stepped on stage, she gave a volunteer $200 to have her name and that of her husband, Vince Gill, put on memorial bricks. The sale of the bricks will help cover the costs of the field, according to Diane Alford, the president of the National Miracle League Association.

Ms. Alford said there are 225 leagues in the United States and Canada.

The field, which will be on the grounds near the Wilson Family Y on Wheeler Road, has a specialized rubber surface so that children in wheelchairs or who have other impairments can safely round the bases.

The cost of the field is $225,000, according to Mr. McConnell. Additional money will have to be raised to cover the addition of restrooms, lights and other amenities. He said he hoped the concert would bring in about $100,000.

About 1,000 bricks will be sold through the end of the year. They are $100 each. For more information, call (706) 922-9622.