Friday, April 24, 2009

The Making of a Special Spectators Game Day Event: The Tailgate Party

Second in a series

This blog entry is intended to give the reader a better idea and understanding of what we mean when we say that we are putting on a "Special Spectators Game Day Event".

Special Spectators Game Day Events are some of the most memorable and exciting days in the lives of the seriously ill children that we serve. Here we describe what a gameday event looks like from start to finish.

Tailgate Party:

The tailgate party usually starts about 2 and 1/2 hours before kickoff. In many cases, our food is donated by one of our corprate partners or by volunteers. The children NEVER have to pay for any of the food or tailgate experiences that they have. Tailgates are free to ALL children and their family members. And the food is just the beginning!

At many of the tailgating events student-athletes from other sports come to participate in the festivities! To the left is a photograph of the tent that is put together at the University of Illinois. The U of I puts on a great event for a large group of children every fall. We've had Illini wrestlers, basketball players, cheerleaders, and even the marching band particpate in the tailgate events!

Above and to the right you see a picture of David Thompson of the Northwestern Wildcats signing autographs for the children at the tailgating party. And to the left is a photograph of the University of Illinois Marching Illini, who came to the Special Spectators tent specifically to play songs for the children. It was an amazing experience for everyone involved, including the children, families, volunteers, and the Marching Illini!

The University of Colorado football team helped make the event in Boulder an amazing one! The players came to the tailgate party to visit the children and give them all "Crocs" shoes. They sang the Colorado fight songs for the children and took group photos with everyone. To the right is a photograph of the Colorado football team with the Special Spectators at the event that day!