Friday, September 16, 2011


Patients and Families from Carle Foundation Hospital to Enjoy Memorial Stadium Game Day Atmosphere

Special Spectators and the University of Illinois will play host this weekend to 100 patients and family members from Carle Foundation Hospital as the Fighting Illini battle No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils.

This Saturday night marks the ninth year Illinois has shared a game-day affiliation with Special Spectators, a non-profit organization in existence solely to create magical days for seriously ill children and their families at sporting events across the U.S.

At this year’s event, select boys and girls from Carle Foundation Hospital and their families will be fully immersed into everything Illini football. They will enjoy a pre-game tailgate party along with visits from U of I cheerleaders, marching band, and student athletes before heading to their seats at Memorial Stadium.

In addition to the Illinois Athletic Department, CME Group is pivotal in making Saturday’s event for Special Spectators a reality. CME Group employees and members also volunteer their time to assist with the kids on Saturday night.

Since its inception, Special Spectators has hosted approximately 6,000 seriously ill children, parents and siblings at about 185 games. Through collegiate partners, its mission is to provide tickets to games and design robust days filled with special surprises and experiences in and around the stadium that are not accessible to most fans. Special Spectators is designed to create fun for the entire family and provide a pause from the difficulties they face battling a loved one’s illness – effectively making time stand still for one unforgettable, immersive and utterly joyful weekend. The organization is focused on doing this all over the country, all season long.

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