Special Spectators Fundraiser welcomes AL & NFL Legend Ozzie Newsome
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Good music, good food and an even bigger cause. The 3rd Annual Special Spectators Fundraiser filled Moe’s BBQ Downtown on Wednesday night. Her mission – to raise money to continue providing sick children with access to VIP college game day experiences.
“We enjoy all the great support we’re getting from the mobile community. It’s just a fun night for everyone – and we can raise some money for Special Spectators, which means we can help more seriously ill children,” said Blake Rockwell, Special Spectators Exec. Director.
It’s also a reunion for past Special Spectators and their families. Christian Hardy, now 17, reminisces about his time on the field 3 years ago.
“It really just makes me think of all the special memories I had – back then going to the game and everything – running away with all the mascots and everything. Just looking at these people… These people were around me when I was doing all of this. I really remember that – it was really great. It was a great experience,” Hardy recalls.
They even got a chance to get autographs from some of this year’s Senior Bowl stars – who take it all.
“Coming back and seeing kids have a dream, just like we did when we were younger, and being able to be with them… encouraging them to keep going with what they’re doing. And from this week – I just expect it to just keep getting better,” said McClendon Curtis, UT Cattanooga.
“Coming from a small school – and I know a lot of the question marks in my game come from not playing against the best competition. So I’m excited to be in the best of competition and to keep making plays,” said Shepherd University quarterback Tyson Bagent.
A large chunk of the money came from the silent auction of Riddell helmets – including a split Bama/Browns helmet in honor of this year’s special guest – Alabama Crimson Tide and NFL legend Ozzie Newsome.
“Every time I get a chance to come back — I’ve played in the Senior Bowl, I’ve practiced in the Senior Bowl — and I’ve scouted it … So it’s always a great week for me,” Newsome said.
Having done all that, Newsome has some solid advice for these young athletes looking to go pro!
“Between now and the draft – get ready to play football. But the other part of it – only a limited number of them get a chance – so make sure you get that education,” Newsome said.
Half of the money raised – stays at the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
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