A Game To Remember

A dream come true.

My friend Marcos experienced this last night.  The agency for which we both work (ABVI-Goodwill) partnered with the Rochester Red Wings baseball team to host “See Great Things” night at Frontier Field, our local minor league baseball stadium.  The night featured many special events: the team wore special jerseys which are being auctioned with the money raised going to support the mission of ABVI, 500 tickets were made available to employees, there were special raffles, one of the children who receives services at ABVI was the honorary manager, an employee sang “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch.  And the most special event of the night for Marcos and his friends was this –  Marcos was asked to throw out the first pitch of the game.

This is the information included in the promotional material:

Marcos Rios throwing out the first pitch . Marcos, who is visually impaired, hasn’t let that stop him from following the game he has loved since he was a little boy . And now he’ll have the opportunity to achieve one of his life-long dreams–throwing out the first pitch in a professional baseball game.

That is a nice paragraph and it begins to capture the essence of Marcos’ dream coming true.  Let me add that Marcos has not stopped talking about this opportunity since before it was announced to the general public.  Every time I have run into him over the last few weeks, he has talked about how excited he is to have this great chance, about how he has always dreamed of doing this, and about how nervous he was about doing a good job.  He practiced and practiced, so that he could throw the ball hard enough and with enough accuracy.  This was not something he was taking for granted.

I think that seeing Marcos last night, in his special jersey matching the players’ jerseys, made everyone from ABVI-Goodwill extremely happy and proud.  When the announcer called his name, a huge roar of cheering arose from the stands.  Marcos did himself, and all of us, proud by throwing a perfect pitch to the catcher.  He had the hugest smile on his face when the ball smacked into the catcher’s mitt.  It was one of the best moments of a great, great night.  The Red Wings won the game, soundly defeating the Indianapolis Pirates.  There were glorious fireworks following the game, choreographed to music from the show Glee.

Last night’s game was wonderful.  It was a night to remember.  It is a magnificent thing to watch someone’s dream come true.  I am so thankful to the Marketing Team at ABVI-Goodwill for dreaming up such a great event and for making it such a personal milestone for so many people at our agency.  John and I go to at least one Red Wings game each summer, but I have never experienced a game quite as special as the game last night.  I am so proud to work to be part of an organization that empowers people and makes dreams come true.

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