The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has been one of the top growing universities in NC, proof of their strength and endurance. This is also evident in their athletic department – specifically, the football program. As a new team in 2013, the Charlotte 49ers have fought their way to becoming a NCAA Division 1 program, increasing the recruitment opportunities and gaining respect from their opponents.
And, when we were looking for a new sports partner for our Day Dream Program, they did not hesitate to huddle up for our Dream Kids!
To complement our Dream Experiences, the Day Dream program features a similar VIP opportunity however, it allows us to serve a greater number of kids in a single day. Day Dream Recipients are kids within our service areas who are 5-21 years old and living with life-altering conditions. They are referred by our healthcare partners to receive a local, VIP sports experience.
For this event, we were proud to welcome our partners from the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte, Sickle Cell Partners of the Carolinas, & The Arc of Mecklenburg County. This Day Dream was proudly sponsored by The Unknowns!
Families were welcomed to a spirited Charlotte 49ers tailgate hosted by the Tailgate Guys and were eager to dig into a delicious lunch courtesy of Chick-Fil-A Matthews! Great food and getting to know one another is always a great way to start the event!
During lunch, Dream Kids and families had a front row view of the marching band, cheerleaders, AND the dance team – talk about the VIP treatment! The faces on all of our friends were
Our special guests then joined the football team in the Niner Walk, which allowed them to walk alongside the star athletes from the field into the locker room area. It was very endearing to watch these big, tough football players walk hand-in-hand with our Dream Kids, while their eyes were full of awe and excitement – it was an unforgettable moment!
After the behind the scenes tour of the weight room, Dream kids sat on the edge of their front row seats as they watched the team warm up and run drills.
It’s quite possible that the Dream Kids helped get the players in the right spirit, because they got a game win with a final score of 20-17! Go Niners! It takes an entire team to huddle up and create these unforgettable experiences for these deserving kids and their families. After all, it’s all about finding teammates that will have your back through anything!
Thank you to all involved and special thanks to the UNC Charlotte student athletes that made this experience such a wonderful one for our Dream Kids.