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Nothing Like Your First Time

When I was 12 years old I went to my first Miami Dolphins game. I have been a fan of the Dolphins since 3rd grade and for 4 seasons I watched from home and dreamed about being in the stadium to see my favorite team with my own eyes. My mom would make every effort to take me to pre-season fan rallies, training camp, even store openings that she heard about on the radio, but tickets were always just out of reach.

That first live game experience was a product of generosity. My mom had made friends with a family that were longtime Miami Dolphins season ticket holders and they knew how much going to a game would mean to me. It was a preseason matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I didn’t care that it was essentially a warm-up game with no impact on the season. I didn’t care that we got rained on in the second half. I got to participate in the chants and celebrations that I’d seen so many times on TV and lost my voice by the 3rd quarter.

This memory is so vivid 15 years later because the experience changed my life. It was an example of pure generosity by someone that wanted to provide an experience for me. At the time I didn’t realize how much this also meant to my mom. She felt so much pressure on herself to make my dream a reality and she was able to be there with me when that dream was achieved.

To this day I feel child-like excitement when I go to a game because I know just how fortunate I am to be there. This feeling is the reason that Get There Foundation exists. Every unused seat is an opportunity to make a dream come true for a less fortunate kid.

It was 11 years after my first game experience that I had another first. I had met a young man that was going through some personal difficulties. He had recently recovered from cancer and was rehabbing while trying to get his education back on track. Through the generosity of our donors we were able to provide this young man with 4 tickets to a Miami Heat Game. It was the 1st time Get There Foundation had the opportunity to provide an experience for someone else and I will never forget that feeling.

It’s difficult to imagine that a stadium full of people could share such an intimate connection, but that connection is undeniably real. Every sports fan remembers their first game. Every music lover remembers their first concert. There is a shared passion and enthusiasm that bonds everyone in the venue and beyond, to the kids at home watching on tv or listening on the radio, and we have the responsibility to nurture that passion.

When you donate to Get There Foundation you are sharing your passion with others. We find those fans that have circumstances preventing them from attending games and we help them Get There. Think back to your first game, your first concert, your first trip to Disney World. Think about how you felt to walk through the gates and BE there, to FEEL it. Chances are that someone gave you that experience out of pure kindness and desire to share their passion. We should all have the opportunity to be so fortunate.

Robert Bodwell

Founder | President

Get There Foundation

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