James Wright-Nguyen, an Open Door Sports player who has Down Syndrome, was granted a dream wish with the Philadelphia Phillies May 18th-20th through Dream On 3.It was coordinated through Dream On 3’s Collegiate Dream Teams program where college students, in this case from George Washington University, take the lead to make a sports dream come true.
James was greeted at the door by GWU rising junior, Charlotte Bell, whom he knows well through previous GWU sporting events that he participated in. Displayed on his lawn were giant yard letters that said “Happy Dream Day James.” While he was initially shy, he soon became wowed by receiving a Phillies jersey with his name on the back, by the luxury van that he and his family were to be transported in and by the fact that the first thing on the agenda was dinner at his favorite restaurant, Guapos.
After dinner they headed to Philadelphia to rest up for their busy next day. On Friday morning, the custom-designed schedule continued with a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo where James and his family enjoyed the Amazon Rainforest Carousel, Wings of Asia, Kid Zoo U, Staying Power with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and a behind-the-scenes tour of the reptile house where they were able to feed the tortoises. “I liked the reptile house and feeding the tortoise! I wish Charlotte and Steve could come to Philadelphia!" James exclaimed.
At the game on Saturday, James and his family received another behind-the-scenes tour, this time up in the TV booth, in the scoreboard room, in the media room – and they had a chance to view the team’s trophies. They definitely had VIP treatment and each received a shirt in the Team store.
James’s mother, Mai Nguyen, said “I was so impressed by the Dream on 3 Team and the thoughtfulness with which they worked with James to put together his Dream Sports Experience. Throughout the planning process, Dream on 3 made sure James' voice was heard, and they customized James' Dream Experience to incorporate his passions, preferences, and style. Equally important, Dream on 3 celebrated James' brothers, Luke and Andrew, as much as they did James, and all 3 boys felt like VIPs all weekend long."
Per Brad Hurn, Dream Leader, "James and his family are beautiful and fun to be around. The trip was fun because James is all about laughing and is a little trickster himself. He loved to mess with us on the trip... from attacking us with his toy snake he got from the zoo to acting like he couldn't hear us with his "noise canceling headphones" even though he could totally hear us. All in all, the family and James had the time of their lives and we are honored to have played a part."
This is the second wish granted through Open Door Sports’ partnership with Dream on 3 and ODS is thrilled they worked to make James’ dream a reality.