A Dream Come True

Posted on March 24th, by John Rhadigan in All. No Comments

Like most of the homes on Wynn Ter Drive, an aging street in East Arlington, the property at 2011 has a backyard.  It is bigger than most yards and yet, despite the fact that children fill this neighborhood, it is rarely used. The grass won’t grow, there are no trees and no real reason to go outside and play.  But not for long.

By April 1st the backyard at 2011 Wynn Ter will be transformed. It will have a brand new multi-purpose court with hoops at each end, laughter, life and landscaping.  At the center of the space will be the words “Dream Court” and it will be a dream come true –  for the 800 members of the East Arlington Boys and Girls Club.  a84bbbef-ce52-4945-9cb7-4c19ee3ef440Children that call 2011 their “home away from home.”

The Dream Court is a gift from the NCAA 2014 Final Four, which will be hosted this year at AT&T Stadium.  The prolific college basketball tournament and it’s “Final Four” finale is one of the most popular sporting events in the country.  The tournament will captivate fans throughout March and culminate in April as the world turns its’ eyes to Arlington.

Long after the cheers and memories of the Final Four fade from North Texas, the court in Arlington will survive and thrive, giving local kids a chance to, well, survive and thrive.  “This is a low income, high risk neighborhood,”  explains Steve Wurm, the President of the Arlington Boys and Girls Club.  “A court like this will get the kids outside and they will be able to participate in our Healthy Lifestyle program.”

Teams will arrive for the Final Four on 4-4-14.  To qualify, four colleges will have won four tournament games.  If you get the sense that four is a lucky number, consider this:  Four generous organizations combined efforts to make the Dream Court a reality for the kids of East Arlington.

The NCAA brought the four benefactors together: The Big 12, The Final Four, the Nancy Lieberman Foundation and Worldventures Foundation. “The cooperation between all of the groups has been spectacular,” enthused Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer, Nancy Lieberman, the President of the foundation that bears her name.  “We all brought money, effort and love to this project.”

Nancy grew up on the mean streets of New York and knows how important a place to play can be.  Her foundation has helped to build 11 courts, all in areas of need, around the country.  “Wait till you see the faces on these children…it’s really amazing!”

Wurm appreciates the selection, the work and the money provided by the  four project partners, but he says the Dream Court would not have been possible without you, the citizens of our beautiful city.  “It goes back to the residents of Arlington,”  Wurm said. “They voted for the sales tax to build the stadium. We are reaping the benefits now.”

On April 1st the backyard at 2011 Wynn Ter Drive will be as anticipated as Christmas morning to the kids at the East Branch Boys and Girls Club.  The Dream Court is a gift to them from organizations that care, the citizens of Arlington and from AT&T Stadium, the gift that keeps on giving.

John Rhadigan

John Rhadigan has called Texas home for nearly 24 years, having spent 11 years at NBC 5 as a sports reporter/anchor and 12 years as an anchor at Fox Sports SW. Rhadigan is the recipient of more than a dozen Emmy Awards for sports reporting and anchoring.

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