The Making of the CHaD All-Star Football Game

(whistle blows)
(upbeat music) (crowd cheering and clamoring) – Children’s
Hospital at Dartmouth has the strongest pull
on my heart strings. When you think about it, there’s no greater cause
than sick or injured children and to advocate for them. – My son Harris is a CHaD kid. It was a different
experience I think than anybody could ever imagine unless they’ve had
to go through it. When your
two-and-a-half-year-old son is stuck in a hospital bed
for, you know, 61 days. We were going to
support CHaD forever. We were in debt. – Meeting the CHaD
families and the kids was really important to me. It had an impact on me, just showing me how much
other people are going through and how you can make
a difference in life. – I came up with
the idea of the game because football has been
a big part of my life and that of my siblings. – Nick came to me
about this idea about a football game for CHaD. But it was way more than about
raising money for the cause. It really was
about finding a way to instill in the
young athletes, a way and a power to give back. – I had been saying for years that we really needed
interstate all-star games so that we can get
more kids involved. When I saw what it
was going to benefit, what an opportunity
for me to give back to the CHaD organization
and coach the game. – Another major aspect of the
game is the selection process and choosing athletes
from across the region and from many different schools. – [Nick] The athletes
themselves get to be a part of this game through a selection process
that the coaches get to scout. They get to review film, and they will also look into
the character of the player. This is a privilege to
play in this great game, for a great cause. I do believe today we
have become the game to play in for these
young aspiring athletes. – [Keith] Our focus wasn’t
really teaching football. They already knew
how to play football. Our focus was teaching
them philanthropy. – [Nick] The true meaning
to philanthropy is that not only is it powerful to give, but it changes your life and that it gives your
life greater meaning. And then, in fact, you
become the beneficiary. – Once I took the tour and I saw what these families and
kids were going through, almost an obligation of mine to help make a difference
in any way I could. – How important was it for me to be part of the game? I don’t know if words really
can describe that feeling. I had brought Harris
into the locker room before the game started
and held him up. I reminded the kids why
they were really playing. I bet you most of them would
say that that moment really hit them a little bit, to know that, you know, you’re
not playing for football. You’re playing for an
actual human being. – This is more than
just a football game. Because these players
are playing for a cause that’s greater than themselves, they’re really impacted
by the kids and families that they get to
know in the process, and it really helps
them to learn about life in a way that they
otherwise wouldn’t. – I’ll steal a line from
Nick right off the bat that I’ve always loved. It was our job as people
to leave this place better than we found it. And to walk away
with that feeling that I now have to go back
to my community and help. – We don’t want this
experience to just end at the end of the game. – When they stop playing, that doesn’t mean
you stop giving. – My message to future players. You want to put on a good show, but you’re not even there
to play a football game. You’re there to send a message. You’re there to help people. You’re there to better yourself so that later on, not now,
but 10 years from now, you’re in a place where
you can help people, and you can do things
like what we’re doing, is to make lives
for people better. (upbeat music)

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