A Huge Thank you to Grange Insurance and Indianapolis Colts
There were plenty of smiles on the faces of seventeen Indiana Children’s Wish Fund children as they were treated to a special day at Rose Hulman’s Colts training camp on Saturday, August 4, 2007. “A Wish-Filled Day With The Colts”, a bus trip sponsored by Grange Insurance, included a fun-filled day with Wish children meeting Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl champions, getting autographs and having their pictures taken with players and Coach Dungy.
Wish Fund children and parents, along with Grange Insurance employees, arrived at the ICWF office at 7:00 a.m. to kick off an exciting day at Colts training camp. Everyone enjoyed breakfast, received ‘A Wish-filled Day with the Colts’ t-shirt, along with Colts banners and a goody bag to take with them to camp. Once aboard, everyone watched movies and eagerly anticipated their arrival in Terre Haute.
We arrived at training camp at 9:00 a.m. just in time to see the players finish their warm-ups and begin the Blue & White scrimmage. All of our Wish children got front row seats, set up especially for them, on the sideline and got to watch their favorite Colts players in action. The morning was very hot, but all of our children hung in there as they enjoyed the game and waited for the players to visit with them. Immediately after the scrimmage game, the players jogged over to the sideline straight to all 17 children. They began talking and joking around with the children and signing their banners. The Wish children jumped out of their seats as the players approached and couldn’t wait to get all of their autographs. We were all in awe as we stood back and watched these Super Bowl Champions give high-fives and take pictures with our children. The players acted with true class as one by one, they went down the row of children making sure to sign every pennant and t-shirt and to take as many pictures as possible. The biggest surprise for everyone was when Peyton Manning walked over and stood in the middle of all the players and Wish children, signing autographs and just enjoying the opportunity to make the children’s day much brighter. Every player from Dallas Clark to Gary Brackett came over to say hello.
Once the players left for the locker rooms, Coach Dungy walked over to talk to our Wish children about their day. He signed autographs and took group pictures with the kids. The Wish children couldn’t believe their eyes! They got to meet and spend time with World Champion football players and coaches. The day went above and beyond any of our expectations and every child ran over to their parent ecstatic about meeting the Colts.
After meeting with Coach Dungy and the players, everyone was free to enjoy Colts City, activities set up for families such as a football toss and various inflatables until it was time to head back home. We left training camp that day with autographs and pictures, but most importantly, with memories that will last a lifetime. On the way back to Indianapolis the whole bus was abuzz with talk of meeting favorite players and heroes, and how that experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity. McAllister’s Deli donated delicious box lunches for everyone to have as we rode home and everyone savored the experience that took place that morning. The excitement and appreciation of the day could be seen on all of the families’ faces when we arrived back at the Wish office that afternoon. “A Wish-filled Day with the Colts” was truly that: a wish come true for these deserving children and their families.