When the Hurricanes met the Falcons at mid-field for the coin toss before last Friday night’s football game, there was more on the line than just football. Fans from the Wilmington and Clinton-Massie school communities joined together in their commitment to raise $2,000 for the Second Annual “Little Hearts Big Smiles” Charity Football Game.
Little Hearts Big Smiles was established in 2006 in an effort to provide a supportive outlet for families raising special-needs children. The organization allows families to come together and learn from one another—to help one another cope and to raise awareness of children with special needs.
The Little Hearts Big Smiles organization provides services for entire families by providing educational opportunities for parents regarding the Bureau for Children with Mental Handicaps, IEPs (individual education plan), nutrition and special diet, and the planning of fun activities for children.
Members of the Falcon and Hurricane communities rallied behind their children and their efforts to reach their fundraising goal. And, when Honorary Team Captains Dana Hamby-Watson and Robert Evans, representing WCS, and Paxton Eads and Clara Gibson, representing CMLS, took to the field and joined the team captains for the official coin toss, fundraising totals had already reached $3,100 — by far surpassing the $2,000 goal set when the campaign began.
In addition to school-wide fundraising campaigns, area businesses and organizations have also joined in the fundraising efforts that continued this week.
This year’s proceeds will support the final phase of the “Playground Project” that began in 2012 by providing funding assistance for the installation of restrooms and the purchase of additional equipment. The playground is located in Wilmington on Fife Avenue on county property across from Denver Park.
It was a hard-fought battle on playing field that night, but in the end, everyone walked away a winner, especially those with Little Smiles and Big Hearts.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.