Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

On behalf of Special Spectators and our volunteers, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Traditionally this holiday honors those who died while serving in our country's military. During this time, however, I can't help but think of those who are no longer with us that Special Spectators had the honor to meet and serve. Their memory inspires us and motivates us to constantly build Special Spectators so that we can reach more seriously-ill children and families.

Most of you recently became fans of our facebook page - THANK YOU! Please take a moment during this three day weekend, to invite just 10 friends to become a fan. As many of you know, we rely heavily on word of mouth to raise awareness and if EVERYONE could take a moment to share Special Spectators with 10 friends, the impact to the organization and more importantly, to the life of a seriously-ill child would be tremendous.

All the best,

Blake Rockwell
Executive Director

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Special Spectators Classifieds - Help Wanted

Over the last couple weeks, the Special Spectators blog has highlighted the different aspects of the typical game day event, its impact on the seriously-ill children and families who attend and what we've accomplished over the last seven seasons. Since 2002, we've hosted almost 5,500 patients, parents and siblings at about 165 games. We've done this at a total cost to the organization of only $85,000. Given our limited resources and no paid staff, we're proud of what we've accomplished, but now it's time to focus on the future and the 2009 college football season.

In order to continue our dramatic growth, we are actively recruiting new volunteers to serve in several capacities including:
  • Public/Media Relations
  • Social Media
  • Web Design
  • Multimedia
  • Mobile Technology
  • Legal
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Game Day Event Planning
  • Game Day Event Volunteers
  • Sponsorships
  • Business Development
If you have experience in any of these areas listed and are excited by the opportunity to provide a magical day for seriously-ill children and their families, please consider becoming a Special Spectators volunteer. Maybe you've just graduated from college and the current economic climate has made it difficult to find a job or your a talented professional who has recently been laid-off and are looking to volunteer your time, we want you to join us

This is a great opportunity for exposure as millions of fans each year have been introduced to Special Spectators. We've been featured on ESPN,, FSN, Delta Airlines in-flight entertainment and local coverage in markets such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Orlando, Cleveland, Tucson and many more.

We're passionate about Special Spectators, we have a great time and you'll be amazed how spending a day at football game can impact these children and their families. To learn more, contact Blake Rockwell at

Friday, May 1, 2009

Special Spectators - The Impact Part II

Our previous post shared quotes from patients and parents on the impact of attending a Special Spectators event. But the attendees are not the only ones touched by our organization. Student-athletes, fans, coaches and hospital staff also see the benefit from their involvement. Here's what they had to say about Special Spectators:

“I can tell you, quite certainly, that the children and their families had a terrific day away from the usual cares and worries of their weeks.

The diagnosis of cancer and other serious blood disorders is a devastating moment and a long journey for all concerned, and events such as Special Spectators really are important ways in which families cope with the enormous demands that are placed upon them.” Mark Musselman, M.D.

“If we can do one little part to help their life be a little better or to make one night be a very enjoyable night and a lasting memory for not only the young people, but also the families, that’s what college football is all about.” Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

"I first learned about Special Spectators in 2004 and since then I've had a great experience, a lot of fun meeting all the children, having them come by the office, come by the facility, before games, after games. Really a fun group of kids to be around and it really lightens your heart and lets you keep things in perspective. It's exciting to show them around and see the excitement they have being around your team." Head Coach Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma

“It was 9:15 and we had the day off from school and I was just like, “Man, I wish I didn’t have to get up this early. But then you come in (to the hospital) and see the smiles on their faces.

We went into one room and her heart monitor started going off. Her heart rate jumped like that when we walked into that room. That’s one of the things I’ll take away from this day . . .”
B.H. Student-Athlete