National charity rounds out its 16th season with a special visit to Miami, bringing its signature series to the children of JHF
NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – November 16, 2017) – With an entirely volunteer troop of passionate sports fans yet again spreading the joy of Game Day, Special Spectators is coming to Miami's Hard Rock Stadium on November 18th, when it will host several seriously ill children and their families from Holtz Children's Hospital for one of the organization's legendary VIP Game Days, when University of Miami plays Virginia.
Together with their partners at the University of Miami and Jackson Health Foundation, who provides philanthropic support to Holtz Children's, Special Spectators has created and will host a full all-access day of football including a suite for the game, a behind-the-scenes stadium and locker room tour, a VIP meal served in their suite prior to the game, Hurricane Walk, time with the cheerleaders, mascot Sebastian and the band — along with field access prior to the game during warmups.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with Special Spectators on their inspiring and impactful mission,” Miami Director of Athletics Blake James said. “We look forward to creating a fun and memorable Hurricanes game day experience for these children and their families.”
“Jackson Health Foundation is proud to partner with Special Spectators for this first-ever initiative in Miami benefiting our Holtz Children's Hospital patients. These ill children and their families will have the opportunity to forget their daily routine of medical exams and procedures — to disconnect and find encouragement during these difficult times,” said Keith Tribble, President & CEO of Jackson Health Foundation.
Special Spectators is a 501(c)(3) entirely volunteer run organization that uplifts seriously ill children and their families nationwide, year in and year out, ultimately aspiring to be all year-round and offer experiences across additional sports. Founder Blake Rockwell was recently recognized for his long-standing work with the children of Special Spectators on CNN Heroes.
The organization has served nearly 10,000 patients, parents and siblings to date at nearly 400 Game Days, profoundly impacting the lives of seriously ill children by delivering the rare joy of Game Day and inviting them to what has often been described as the greatest day of their often challenging and stressful, and sometimes short, lives. They deliver on their mission as an entirely volunteer organization, with as many as 35-50 experiences in any given season. The 2017 season brought the series to Northwestern, Oklahoma, The Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and Miami, among many others. Full schedule available here.
“So thankful to Jackson Health Foundation's President & CEO, Keith Tribble, for working with us to spearhead this effort, we know it's going to be an unforgettable day,” said Chris Masters, long-time Special Spectators volunteer and Miami VIP Game Day host for the organization. “Now, we are absolutely thrilled to be working with Athletic Director Blake James, Coach Mark Richt and the University of Miami Athletic Department to host the kids and their families. With their help, we've put together an incredible day and are looking forward to seeing that special joy take hold when these kiddos realize they are not just going to the game, they are part of the game! It's what we do.”
About Special Spectators
Special Spectators partners with athletic departments, coaching staffs, athletes, local hospitals, student volunteers, network broadcasters, and corporate sponsors to serve these children and families nationwide. The organization is entirely volunteer-based, with no paid staff and relies heavily on donations and in-kind support to fuel its calendar of events each year. Read more of Founder Blake Rockwell's story on CNN Heroes website, their Facebook or Twitter pages. To donate and help give even more seriously ill children a magical VIP game day, please visit the website. There you can also find out more about what your donations cover — everything from food, to tents and chairs, and transportation.
About Jackson Health Foundation
Jackson Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, raises philanthropic support and awareness for Jackson Health System, the most comprehensive healthcare provider in South Florida. Through the generosity of compassionate supporters, the Foundation financially assists Jackson Health System in providing world-class medical care to children and adults in South Florida and the global community, regardless of their ability to pay. The philanthropic support received helps fund major projects at Jackson that cannot be financed by bond support. Established in 1991, the Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors committed to philanthropic activities that benefit Jackson Health System. For more information please visit www.JacksonHealthFoundation.org or call 305.585.GIVE (4483)
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