Sometime before Christmas, one of our salespeople had a thought to give back somehow to people of the community. He wasn’t sure what or how, but he wanted to do something. After some discussion and thought the idea was to do something for the children, but not just any children… children who had been displaced from their families – the reason didn’t matter. It was about giving to the children, and not a Santa gift but something they could remember as a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. The suggestion was that the Florida Baptist Children’s home had many deserving children and a day out away from the daily routine would be the ticket. But what kind of ticket? Amusement Park? Zoo? Concert? The answer came quick and would be family fun for the entire group. 14 tickets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday Afternoon Football Game! But you can’t send 10 children and 4 adults to Raymond James Stadium without something to eat! A collection was taken up among all of the salespeople and staff and raised enough money to get everyone hot dogs, sodas and popcorn – and at stadium prices that became a pretty big chunk of donation. To make a long story just a bit longer – the kids had a BLAST! If you’ve never been to a professional football game, the excitement starts long before you get into the stadium. Outside there is the smell of tailgaters and the sounds of fans hooting as they prepare themselves for a victory cry.
As the stadium fills with thousands of fans and a sea of color jerseys and face painted fanatics the team launches onto the field with a spectacle unmatched by the Superbowl halftime show. It may as well have been the Superbowl for many of the children. All had never been to a professional football game or experienced the excitement of a great memory that will last a lifetime. So why do we tell this story? It’s not for us, but to thank the supervisors and children of the Florida Baptist Children’s Home. Oh, yea… and they did send these heartfelt thank you cards. So, thank you to “Billy’s Bunch” sponsor (you know who you are) and all the staff of Lakeland Automall for helping to make the lives of some local people exciting – even if was just for an afternoon. and, no… the Bucs lost the game, but everyone seemed to have a great time. #Bucks #lakeland #TampaBay