Friday, May 6, 2011

Project 1-2-3: Day 6 - The Roar of the Crowd

Note: Starting May 1st and continuing for the 123 days leading up to the start of the 2011 college football season, "Project 1-2-3" will share pictures, videos and memorable moments from the last nine years of Special Spectators game day events.

We often say that Special Spectators doesn't just TAKE seriously ill children to games, but makes them a PART of the games by providing access to people and areas of the stadium that are not accessible to most fans. This includes participating in pre game preparation, visiting the locker room, meeting coaches and players and taking part in post game traditions. Our goal is to give the kids a sense that they're a member of the team.

Nothing exemplifies this better than the stadium announcement. Not only does it create incredible memories for the parents and their children, but provides an opportunity for the youngsters to know exactly how it feels to have tens of thousands of fans cheering for them - just like the players.

While the kids stand on the field during a time out, a stadium announcement explains why the youngsters are attending the game, provides a brief description of Special Spectators and asks the crowd to give the children a warm welcome to the stadium. Typically this results in a standing ovation.

Imagine as many as 100,000 fans giving a small group of seriously ill children one of the loudest standing ovations you've ever heard. While walking kids back to their seats, it's not unusual to notice fans wiping tears from their eyes and hearing them yell words of encouragement.

This video includes a perfect example of this moment courtesy of the 2007 Special Spectators game day event at Washington State and KXLY.