Dreaming Big with Academy Sports & the Atlanta Braves
2018 Day Dream Experience
July 27, 2018 (Atlanta, GA & Snellville, GA)
Exceptional Kids Athletics, Inc. is a non-profit special needs athletic programs for children ages 4-18 with any physical and/or mental disabilities.
Shepherd Center Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.
21 participants from Exceptional Kids Athletics, Inc. in and 20 young adults from Shepherd Center in participated in a Back-to-School Shopping Spree at Academy Sports and watched the Braves take on the LA Dodgers.
During the shopping spree, participants and their parents were “set free’’ in the Academy Sports in Snellville, Georgia to find $100 worth of free merchandise. They bought tennis shoes, shirts, backpacks, water bottles, soccer balls, cleats, baseballs, baseball bats, and tennis racquets. Thanks to Academy Sports, our dreamers are ready to return to school and ready to play ball!
The celebrity, V.I.P. treatment for our participants continued at the Braves game. Before the Braves game, our Dreamers got to lead the Pre-Game Parade. As they entered the gate to allow them access to the inside of SunTrust Park, the crowd rose to his feet, clapping, cheering, giving high fives, and taking pictures. Our kids walked and rolled around the field proudly taking in every moment of the magic taking selfies and saying things like, “This is so awesome,” and “I had no idea this field was so big,”, and “I can’t believe this—these people are cheering for us.”
Our group had one more magical experience before the game started. The Braves honored one of our dreamers with the privilege of starting the game. Chase Jackson, from Exceptional Kids Sports, Inc., took the field to represent Dream On 3. The Braves actually got 2 Jacksons for the price of one—Chase and his older brother, Chad, made a double play by delivering the “Are you ready or Braves Baseball? Let’s Play Ball” together. Great job, Chase and Chad!
Everyone had a great time as they settled in to watch the game, cheer on the Braves, and enjoy the magic of the huddle. As she was leaving, one of the mom’s commented, “Thank you for allowing us a time to lay down new memories for Joseph.” Thank you to Academy Sports, the Atlanta Braves, Exceptional Kids Athletics, Inc, and Shepherd Center for huddling with Dream On 3 to surround these dreamers with the magic of sports and the power of team.