By: Aly Durban
Chandler Crowell is an 18-year-old student at Homewood High School. Crowell has down-syndrome but never let that stop him from having fun! Crowell is a huge football fan and an even bigger Samford fan. His dream is to be an important part of the Samford football team. The only thing is, Chandler doesn’t know about what Samford’s Dream on 3 team has been planning.
Samford’s Dream on 3 team has been working tirelessly to try to make Chandler’s dream come true Nov. 19.
Dream on 3 is a non-profit organization that partners with collegiate athletes to create experiences for children and young adults with life altering conditions through the world of sports. The organization wants to have teams on as many college campuses as possible to create a positive impact in the community.
Samford’s Dream on 3 team is in its first year and has a small following, something the captains hope they can change.
“Dream on 3 is an organization that I think can reach any part of campus if there are people willing to put in the work and effort for the Dream Kid,” said team captain, Brody Westbrooks.
Westbrooks transferred to Samford University from Georgia Tech University two years ago. He wanted to bring something familiar to Samford’s campus and that was Dream on 3. Westbrooks says that he hopes that he can create the following Georgia Tech’s team had.
Westbrooks and his co-captain, Mascon McCormick, were able to recruit 13 members in the first year for the group. 11 of the members are student athletes and two are students at Samford.
“Mason McCormick reached out to me and other volleyball players and asked if we wanted to be a part of the organization,” said Samford volleyball player, Kate Morgan. “I thought it would be a good way to give back to the community and get involved on campus.”
Westbrooks and McCormick have rallied this team around a common goal. Making their dream kid’s wish come true, which means they had to start raising money.
Crowell’s dream, which will take place on Nov. 19 at the last home football game for Samford. Samford’s team has been raising money since May to make sure this dream can come true.
Fundraising has been one of the struggles this small team has faced. Teammates reached out to parents, relatives and family friends in the first stages of fundraising but struggled to find other people to donate. Westbrooks and McCormick brainstormed many ideas with their team, trying to get as much money as possible for Crowell’s dream. The team hosted a pickleball tournament and has been selling “digital dozens” from Krispy Kreme, but still struggled to raise money.
This changed when Westbrooks reached out to Rayford Cook at The Grocery Brewpub. Dream on 3 partnered with the Grocery and was able to host a percentage night to raise money for Crowell’s dream. The team was able to raise $200 for Chandler’s dream, putting the team $500 away from their $5000 goal.
The team hopes to reach their goal of $5000 for Crowell’s dream on Nov. 18-19.
Crowell’s dream will start Nov. 18 when he is sent off by Homewood High School to start his weekend long dream. Crowell and friends will be escorted by limo to go bowling with Samford’s team for the first half of the day. Crowell and his mom will then check into a hotel and get ready for their dinner at Perry’s Steak House.
Crowell will then wake up and get ready to go to Samford football’s walk-through practice. Chandler will get dressed in Bulldog gear and get to participate in the Bulldog Walk. Chandler finishes off his day at the last home game for Samford football. Crowell will get to be sideline and dressed out for the game.