The Temple Owls joined the Philadelphia Eagles and the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the 8th Annual Huddle up for Autism Event. Held at Lincoln Financial Field, the event raised money and provided a day of fun for families affected by autism.
Blow up bouncy houses and obstacle courses sprinkled the field. The Temple Football team was also their helping with games and setting up drills for the children. They stood next to mats and cheered as each child made a touchdown. Their faces lit up as the football team threw passes to them and gave out high fives.
Chris Myarick, a junior on the football team, was amazed at the event’s turn out. “It’s really rewarding for us just seeing their face, how happy they are. They don’t care that it’s cold out here, they’re just having a blast,” he said.
Off the field, games and other carnival like activities took place. Connect four, remote control cars, and virtual reality activities kept children and their families occupied. There was also an educational element to the day. Teaching people about the latest technology and advances in autism.
Off the field, fans were allowed to meet with Eagles players and cheerleaders. Meet and greet stations were set up for families to take pictures and get autographs from players like, Marcus Smith and Vinny Curry.
Although it wasn’t required, some families who attended the event fundraised beforehand. Ten-year-old, Luke Gross, who is on the autism spectrum raised $1,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Autism spectrum disorder is considered one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States. It affects one in every 68 children and is five times greater in boys.