Twenty years ago, when four athletes with special needs first stepped onto a small outdoor court, they unknowingly embarked on a journey that would touch the lives of thousands. Today, Spirit League is home to 600 athletes per year across youth and adult programs. Families from 49 different cities make the journey to Mission Viejo, a testament to the impact and reach of our community.

So many things have changed during this time. For the first ten years, the League was run completely by volunteers. Then, one fateful day, they decided to hire staff to run the program. That’s when things got fun. Tyler Lowenthal was hired as Athletic Director, and Melanie Smith was hired as administrator, and we’ve been on SuperDrive since then.

We now have 15 employees, two programs (one for youth and one for adults), eight sports seasons, including baseball, basketball, and soccer for youth and bowling, baseball, basketball, volleyball, and flag football for adults, 75 volunteers annually, one Swing for Autism Golf Tournament, online and in-person volunteer training programs, a very full equipment storage unit, and a home in the City of Mission Viejo. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

At the 20th anniversary event, we took a moment to recognize the significant role that many people played in the success of Spirit League. Their unwavering support and dedication as volunteers and supporters has not only been the backbone of our achievements but the heart and soul of our community. It is because of their efforts, passion, and belief in our mission that we are able to celebrate this momentous 20th anniversary. We couldn’t have done it without them.

We love what we do. We love the athletes and families we serve. In a world of constant change, Spirit League is still here, and we are excited to celebrate our 20th anniversary. So many incredible people made this possible. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. We are so grateful!