FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Nova Southeastern University Athletic Department assisted Make-A-Wish South Florida Friday by taking part in nine-year old Jaylen Hyde’s wish to become the superhero, Striker Boy.
The event, which took Jaylen all around Broward County, made a stop at NSU Friday, where Striker Boy needed to dismantle a Make-A-Wish bomb at the NSU Soccer Complex during the game. The Sharks’ men’s soccer team staged the game alongside several coaches, with other NSU student-athletes and several members of the NSU community cheering from the stands.
After dismantling the make-believe Make-A-Wish bomb, Striker Boy was greeted by the team and took off from a helicopter waiting for him on the practice field. Hundreds of fans were in attendance to cheer Striker Boy as he went off to save a burning building and arrest his arch nemesis, Sneaky Pete.
“Being a part of this event was amazing,” stated Sierra Lelii (Jr., Seminole, Fla.). “Being in the stands and seeing how happy Striker Boy was for having his wish granted just put a huge smile on my face! Even though he has no idea who I am, I’m glad that I could be a part of an unforgettable memory of his. The crowd was really into it and the excitement for Striker Boy was phenomenal.”
“I felt like it was a very sincere and very nice moment,” stated Michael Rosario (Fr., Pembroke Pines, Fla.), who played in the game. “He seemed to be very grateful, and I was grateful for being able to make his wish come true. (Giving back to the community) is really one of our main points in life. To be able to do that through NSU and our community is even better.”
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is the official charity of NCAA Division II. NSU supports Make-A-Wish South Florida through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which reached its goal this year of raising $5,000 for the cause. Those fundraising efforts included: iPad ticket drawings, the sale of #SharksNation T-Shirts, accepting donations at Shark Nights, as well as a series of events that took place during Week of Wishes.
“There are a lot of different factors that go into play when it comes to our Make-A-Wish Fundraising efforts,” said SAAC President and baseball starting pitcher Roberto Baroniel (Jr., Miami). “The most important factor is having the support from our student-athletes and SAAC representatives when it comes to carrying them out. They did a great job in setting the bar higher than it has ever been before. A special thank you goes out to [Director of Athletics] Michael Mominey and Kelley Kish for their assistance in putting us on track to reach our goal of granting a wish.”
NSU’s SAAC also had the opportunity to bring two Make-A-Wish celebrities on campus to be a part of Sharks athletics. A young lady was crowned as the honorary homecoming queen and joined as a member of NSU’s women’s basketball team for the afternoon. SAAC also brought in a young man to be a part of the baseball team for a day. He threw out the first pitch of a game, was part of the pre-game kickoff routine and was given the game ball immediately following the game.
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