Kurt Cherry lives with autism and other challenges that most of us will never fully understand. Outside of his extended family and care providers, Kurt hasn’t had many friends in his life that made him feel special. Well, all of that changed when Dream on 3 and DDR told him that he was going to have an opportunity to live out his ultimate dream. We told Kurt that he was going to be meeting a bunch of new friends over the next couple of weeks…and that’s exactly what happened! You don’t have to go to Tuscaloosa to find die hard Alabama fans. Kurt was adopted into a tight knit community here in Charlotte prior to leaving for his Dream. The alumni association rallied around him and hyped him up for his upcoming Dream Experience!
Kurt’s Alabama dreams came true during this year’s homecoming weekend! The minute he landed in Birmingham, he was given the VIP treatment. Mercedes Benz of Birmingham helped out with some VIP transportation to get him to the “Nick at Noon” Luncheon in Tuscaloosa on Friday, October 12th. Thanks to Nick’s Kids Foundation, Kurt was able to listen to Coach Nick Saban speak at the event, and was able to grab a photo with him after his speech. Kurt was not shy at all, quickly putting his arm around Coach Saban and smiling ear to ear. He was so excited to meet his favorite coach and show him his Alabama pride. After a tour of campus, the team made their way back to Birmingham to check into their hotel where BIG surprises awaited Kurt.
The Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort in Birmingham had a warm welcome set up for Kurt. The lobby was decorated with balloons and filled with staff cheering for Kurt as he entered the building. Sigao Studios and Easter Seals (BridgingApps) teamed up to donate an iPad to Kurt that had a message from a sports hero of his, Rashad Johnson. Rashad is a former University of Alabama Safety who was happy to welcome Kurt to his turf.
Saturday was game day, but before that, Kurt received the opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks to hometown hero Mr. Gibb, he was able to be a part of the homecoming parade and ride in an iconic Alabama themed classic pickup truck. He had a blast getting to be part of the action and hearing crowds cheer “Roll Tide” as he passed by. It was one of the most special moments of the weekend for both Kurt and the team. After the parade, Kurt took the field at Bryant Stadium with VIP sideline passes and tickets to the game.
Thanks to Wheelhouse Foundation and BAW Photography.