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Posts Tagged ‘Jacksonville Jaguars’

“Dream Day is a chance for terminally ill children to escape the medical setting of their everyday life and be the center of attention in a way that let’s them just be kids, not sick kids. For some, this was the last time they would leave a hospital” – Kyle Scott

“Come with me and you’ll be, In a world of Pure imagination

Take a look And you’ll see Into your imagination”

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Hold your breath Make a wish Count to three…

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Imagine if you will 30 kids delivered into a dreams or fantasy that have chosen . That was my day today, trooping the PRI Productions event called Dream Day. As the quote above states these kids have terminal conditions. So today was all about them. So let me set the stage as it were. What each child saw as they were delivered to a dream like place.

Each child and their parents would show up at the parking garage. Each child was place in their dream car. Some picked limos and some hot rods, monster trucks and even cop cars. As each child pulled up to the entrances they could hear about 50 people clapping and cheering. As they exited the car a big bill board across the street displayed their name with dazzling effects. An escort led them to a red carpet where Willy Wonka greeted them and started sing the above song “Pure Imagination” from the original Willy Wonk movie and took the child by hand and walk down the long rows of people and character dressed for the event. We had fairies, princesses and the good witch from the wizard of oz, south paw mascot with spider man and of course Storm troopers and a biker scout along with  three  R2 droids.

As Willy walked the carpet the child’s eye were wide with surprise and overwhelming happiness. The person who played Willy Wonka was amazing with these kids. Quickly he determined the best way to integrate the child’s ability to participate in the wonderful walk to the building. Some of the children walked down holding hands with Willy, others were small enough he picked them up and carried them so they could take in all that they were seeing. Some were pushed in a wheel chair and he would help the excited child by slowing them down and so they could take in everything they were seeing. Then as they got to the door Willy explained that beyond those doors was their special dreams and they could enter and enjoy their very special day.

It was amazing to watch each child come through the gate and be greeted and see the overwhelming looks on their faces. I was stationed close to the front and had a great view of the children as they were delivered and escorted to the dream building. As they exited from their dream ride the crowed would start clapping and cheering as they passed us by. As amazing as this event was in terms of creating this fantastic illusion and fantasy I was not ready for the emotions that would hit you when you saw the reality of the condition of some of the kids.

Its was heart breaking, it was overwhelming and you could see it in the faces of their parents as they were stressing to get their child ready for this event. But the moment Willy Wonka took the child from the parent’s, their faces changed from stressed to excitement and celebration. at this moment all the pain, stress and sadness faded away for just a moment. Some smiled, clapped and cheered and other mostly mothers cried, tears of joy. Tears that said thank you for this, all of this. My child is happy and smiling on this day.

The tears were not one sided. My station put me next to Jaguars cheerleaders and overlaid on their smiles were tears, tears that showed they cared and as for me. Well not that anybody could see because of my helmet. There were a few tears that were shed as I watched each of the 30 children past me by. They were so brave, so motivated and you would not think that what they were going through was that tough. But we knew it was, it was very real and they would have to return to that life after they left this wonderful special day. So it was all of our mission to create and cement the dream in their minds to take with them as they faced their greatest challenge. After every child was inside the building the dreams started to take place.

As I understood it each child had a fantasy or dream. So inside there was an area for each of them. A place where they would get gifts just for them and a costumes that they picked. There were rooms all around that were amazing. There was a tea party room. The children could sit and have a tea party with a princesses. They could get ice cream with many fantastic flavors. There were a whole host of places in there that catered to their wishes. Truly, truly their dreams did come true, if only for a day.

The photo below are a small gallery of the day. There will be some amazing photos and video that were taken by PRI Productions. I will link to them as the become available so check back from time to time to see this special even in video.

Photographer: Rob Semos

Here is a slide show of the Kids getting there gold ticket to attend the event: Click Here

 

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PRI Productions website: http://www.priproductions.com/

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Well everybody it was another amazing day for a troop. I headed down to the Jaguars stadium to get ready for a day of trooping for the Arthritis Walk. When I arrived volunteers were buzzing about getting all the booths setup and ready for the public. The sun started to peek over the rim of the stadium and knocked off the cool air and members of Squad 7 started to show up and we assembled in one of the halls that lead to the field.

You know how they say TV adds 5 or so pounds to a person, well I think the same holds true for the Jaguars football field. On TV when we are cheering the runner to run in for a touchdown it seems to take longer then we would like it to as the field (100 yards) it seems so very long. However when I walked out to the field it didn’t seem very big at all and I was surprised by that. Its was still an amazing sight being down on the field looking up to the seats.Photo6-001

We all dressed out and went to the field and was meet by the public and all the cameras that they could hold and photo opt’s O plenty. We mingled about for about 30 min and then the event heads introduced all the people that help fund and plan the day. After that they introduced us to an instructor that would have some of us troopers doing the Zumba on the field. I am sure we looked funny dancing and moving about but we did it and it was fun.

It was now time for the public to start the Arthritis walk by walking around the stadium a few time and we were dispatched around in places to help them stay on course. it seem an endless line of people walking by and then they did it all again.

Photo9Once we completed the mission assignment we walked around again for more photo opt’s and then headed back to home base and end our mission for the day.

I had a great time and the event was well done.

2013 Arthritis Walk Website

Photos by: Jacqueline Halle

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