Macari is a vibrant 16-year-old living in Charlotte, NC who has an infectious smile and the ability to turn any stranger into a friend. His never-ending positivity and gratitude fuels his joy. He also loves football. He loves the sport’s electric atmosphere, the camaraderie between players and the chance to cheer on others. He always dreamed of going to an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Football Championship game as a VIP, experiencing the electric energy of the crowd along with meeting the athletes and coaches.
Macari is legally blind in his left eye and has cerebral palsy, which impacts his ability to move and maintain balance. For the past four years, he has received Community Navigator and B3 Respite services from ESUCP’s Individual & Community Support Services (ICS) team.
Recently, Macari was surprised when Hopewell High School and his classmates rolled out the red carpet for Maraci’s Dream to come true. The celebrations could be heard throughout the school as he walked the red carpet to the limo that was waiting for him.
First, Macari and his family checked into the Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend, a perfect place for his love of swimming and hotels. They also visited the Charlotte Motor Speedway. On game day, they headed to Bank of America Stadium early for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, taking photos, fist-bumping with players and dancing with both team’s mascots! Macari was also invited to attend the pre-game press conference, where he gifted Coach Jeff Brohm (the University of Louisville’s head coach), with a “Dream It Do It” bracelet as good luck. He also interacted with Florida State’s team and offered coin toss advice, “tails never fails!
The coin toss was a surreal moment. Macari stood on the 50-yard line as the honorary captain along with the team captains, who called tails, just as Macari advised and it worked! Macari was so happy; his smile shined all night. The referee even let him keep the coin from the toss as a special souvenir!
It was pure joy watching Macari’s Dream come true. His dream weekend wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of the ACC Conference, the Mansfield Family Fund and the referral partner, Easterseals UCP.
ABOUT EASTERSEALS UCP
Easterseals UCP and PORT Health are trustworthy, compassionate partners providing exceptional disability, behavioral health and addiction treatment services to help our neighbors live their best lives. Purpose, dedication and empathy drive our in-person and telehealth service delivery. Our diverse and inclusive 2,600 member team provides more than 10.2 million hours of meaningful support to 40,200 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home, facility and community locations across North Carolina and Virginia. Learn more at eastersealsucp.com.