By Denise Williams
Dreams Come True and Taxslayer Bowl joined together on Friday, August 29, 2017, to host their first inaugural event for children who are fighting life threatening illnesses. This partnership will lend an opportunity for twelve dreamers who are already participants in the Dreams Come True program to serve as representatives and ambassadors for the TaxSlayer Bowl.
Throughout the collegiate football season, each of Dreamer will be spotlighted and afforded an opportunity to engage in a sports related activity to build unforgettable memories. At the close of the football season, the Dream Teamers graduate, turning in their Dream Team blue and white jerseys for a TaxSlayer Bowl green jacket. The green jackets make them honorary Dream Team members and the occasion culminates in a meet and greet with participating athletes, cheerleaders, family and volunteers at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in December. They also will receive special recognition during the 73rd Annual TaxSlayer Bowl to be held on December 30, 2017.
Preston Fowler is a 16-year-old who resides on the westside and is the oldest youth in the program. He received his dream of a Disney cruise last summer through Dreams Come True. Due to a heart defect; he’s had over 52 surgeries with his first open heart surgery the day following his birth. He and his mother, Alicia Robertson were excited to be part of the new joint venture of Dreams Come True and TaxSlayer.
Young Miles Watts is 7 years old and resides on Jacksonville’s northside. He and his Mom, Tanya Watts were sent to Walt Disney World in August 2014, compliments of the Dreams Come True organization. He is an energetic and bubbly young man in spite of his rare tumor diagnosis ( Wilms Tumor, located on the kidney). Due to the rarity of Miles tumor, he was able to participate in a study that was offered through Nemours and the National Bi-lateral Wilms Study Team. He is now a healthy youngster keeping his Mom busy.
Taxslayer Bowl (formerly Gator Bowl) has a mission to offer the best in collegiate athletics to the Northeast Florida area. Their objective is to foster community pride through creating positive outlets for young people on the First Coast. Taxslayer Bowl has partnered with Dreams Come True to host this and future events. Dreams Come True, founded in 1984 is a 100 percent community donor-funded nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children on the First Coast who are battling a life threatening illnesses. Dreams Come True has fulfilled 3, 700 dreams for children in the Northeast Florida and southern Georgia to date.