MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- From the locker rooms to the sidelines -- the non-profit group Special Spectators has been providing VIP all access game day experiences to seriously ill children for more than two decades.
"It's really awesome -- and after 20 years it still gives me goosebumps," said Blake Rockwell, Special Spectators Founder.
They do the events all across the country -- The Reese's Senior Bowl -- is the only two-day event. Beth Abston with USA Children's & Women's Hospital has been volunteering for nine years.
"I walk along side a lot of really difficult journeys here at the hospital, so to get to see those same patients outside of the hospital with their families having a really special day and forgetting about all of the reasons they have to come to the hospital... getting to see them smile and interact. Getting a real glimpse into their real personalities -- it was just really cool and fun," said Abston.
Special Spectators is set to have a big fundraiser with special guest NFL Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre. Favre recently released a video inviting people to join him for the event Feb. 2 at Moe's Original BBQ in downtown Mobile.
Rockwell explains this is something they actually wanted to do last year, but like a lot of their events the pandemic got in the way.
"This is actually something we wanted to do at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl because 2021 marked his 30th anniversary since he played in the Reese's Senior Bowl. So, it just had to be delayed a year because of COVID -- which is fine -- and it's going to be an unbelievable night," said Rockwell.
A night of not only access to Favre, but Senior Bowl players, a silent auction -- one of the items up for bid -- a new split helmet that's yet to be revealed.
Half of the proceeds go to help Special Spectators continue its mission and the other half to a program at Children's & Women's Hospital to help normalize the hospital stay for sick kids.
"And we couldn't do what we do -- we don't have a budget for a lot of these things. It's fundraisers like this that allow us to purchase a game system or take care of that X-box -- that we couldn't do if we didn't have community support. It also helps us with our program to have four Mobile County School teachers on staff here at the hospital to help continue their education during their hospital stay," explained Abston.
Tickets are $50 each. But through Jan. 23 you can purchase 4 tickets for $170. Again, the event is Feb. 2. If you're interested in purchasing a ticket or becoming a sponsor click here for more information.