Monday, September 10, 2012

Heart of Gold: David vs Goliath

The Heart of Gold Game

I can't remember what I've told the blog world about The Heart of Gold Game, so I'll recap.

Our local high school has a really good football team with an fan base that is quite large. A few years ago the team decided to honor a child that had a special need or health issue by designating one home game of the season as their Heart of Gold game. Tshirts are sold with the child's name on the back and the entire team and coaching staff wear the shirts. The community buys the shirts as a fundraiser and then the family is given a monetary gift.

Our family has supported this in the past and I know last year's recipient family. I would have NEVER guessed or dreamed that we would be such a family. 

But a couple of weeks ago the head coach called Doug and asked him if we would be willing/interested in Maddie being this years recipient. So after drying the tears, we asked Maddie and she said okay. She didn't really get how big this was.

Fast forward to this past weekend.

Maddie went to the Breakfast with Champions with the Varsity football players, then was honored at the pep rally, then spoke on the local radio station at the Coffee with Coach.

That was the warm up.

When we got the the stadium, it was electric. It didn't hurt that the game was against our big rival. It's a David vs Goliath match up with us being David. The Head Coach had told me earlier in the week that he really, really wanted to win for Maddie. But we weren't predicted to win.

So as it nears game time, imagine a stadium full of people and tons of them are wearing a shirt that supports your kid. I really struggled to keep it together.

Maddie ran out with the team, in fact, the Head Coach ran with her. It was wonderful as Maddie had been really worried about being the last one on the field when she heard that she would be running with the team. For a kid that is always last in gym class, is the last picked for a team and is the last one finished with anything athletic, this was really worrying Maddie. So, I shared this concern with the coach, and he turned something scary into something special!

Here they are running in. 

Here is Maddie with the Head Coach. They are getting ready to go out for the coin toss. Isn't this picture crazy. It's taken with the same camera at the same time as the other pictures, but the spotlight on Maddie and Coach is incredible!

Maddie was the Honorary Captain and she called the coin toss.

Here we are leaving the field. Don't you just love Kylie's pig tails!!

And the game starts!!

During the game, Doug and Maddie spent a lot of time on the sideline. But she still made time to play with Cousins!

Even Kylie and Lexi got turns to go on the sideline.

Don't you just love this picture of Kylie and her Cousin!! Sweet.

After the game.. It was incredible. We beat our Goliath.  Head Coach ran down the sideline waving our flag and hooting and hollering. It was such a memorable time.  And to be standing on the sideline. One of my highlights.

Then Head Coach got the team together and did his speech.  It was so fun to hear him. These boys had done something special and he praised them all. Then he called Maddie over and gave her the game ball! Oh yeah, I was teary!
And we finished the evening with a team picture. Complete with Maddie in the center.
The entire experience was one our family with never forget. The monetary gift to Maddie will be placed in a trust for her future medical expenses. Our prayer is that it will never have to be touched. But is sure is nice to know that we have it available for her care.

Living in a small town, there are trade offs. We don't have a lot of the amenities that others have.. but the community love of each other is better than any fancy restaurant!

Oh how blessed we are to live in the Ville.

1 comment:

  1. So that picture with the spotlight was one I took and I kept taking them again and again because I didn't like that spot of light on it. I couldn't take one without that light being in it. Never accured to me that they were being spotlight. Crazy cool