CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was a special dream day for a very special cheer squad in Charlotte at Spectrum Arena for a Charlotte Hornets game.
"Eight years ago I started a special needs cheer team for my daughter who was four at the time,” said Connie Mulroy, CEY Athletics Chairman of the Board and Executive Director.
Carolinas Exceptional Youth Athletes, CEY, allows youth with special needs the opportunity to participate in a world-class sports training program in a developmentally appropriate way while having lots of fun.
“We started at four kids. We grew to almost 40. We have two teams. They condition, they stretch, they learn skills, they work very hard and are very proud of themselves,” Mulroy said.
The team is the latest recipient of WCNC's Dream Day.
The team was given the opportunity to perform for the Charlotte Hornet Honey Bees before a recent home game. What they didn't know was that they were going to be treated to a VIP event prior to the game.
"This is going to give them a dream they never thought would happen in their life. Me neither!" laughed Mulroy.
NBC Charlotte anchor Beth Troutman helped make the announcement at the CEY practice facility. A confetti cannon from Parties by Design helped to make the announcement special and the athletes were showered in colored confetti.
The team rode a bus to Flight Beer Garden and Music Hall in Uptown Charlotte. The team walked the red carpet into the closed event. Makeup artists from the Paul Mitchell Beauty School helped prepare the kids. Libretto's pizza fed the team and their families. Extravaganza Events set up a basketball themed backdrop so the kids could get their pictures taken.
"To have all of the work that Connie's done to develop a team and a group, and more than that, a social base for our children has been fantastic," says Rene Katkowski, mom of one of the kids. "And to have her rewarded and have our children rewarded in this way is amazing. We are so blown away by tonight."
Do you know of someone who deserves a dream day? Click here to nominate them.