Most kids love to have sleepovers, but what about a sleepover in the major league clubhouse?
On November 15, some very deserving kids from Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Kisses for Kyle were treated to a major league slumber party filled with surprises at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
One of the children was seven-year-old Alyssa Reed who has had a tough year. She’s battling leukemia. “She was feeling really sick on Wednesday and now she’s able to be here. She’s been counting down to the day for like ever,” her mom, Ashley Reed, shared with local reporters. Alyssa and the other children had every reason to be excited because the Phillies had amazing things in store for them.
A Very Special Press Conference
The night started off with new Phillies manager Joe Girardi and the Phillie Phanatic welcoming the children to spend a night in the clubhouse. As they filtered in, the children received a virtual greeting by Phillies players on PhanaVision, as well as signed a one-day contract with the Phillies, penned by Girardi.
The kids then took part in a press conference with General Manager Matt Klentak, before heading to the Phillies Clubhouse where they were surprised by pitcher Zach Eflin and his fiancé Lauren Dennen.
“I come up here for one reason, to make the kids happy and to put a smile on their faces…just watch them have fun and live life. It’s so rewarding to see their smiles and get to talk to each kid. It’s truly is a blessing for me and Lauren to be here,” said Eflin.
To ensure a comfy stay, the entire clubhouse was decked out with Bob’s beds and mattresses donated by my outreach team – no sleeping bags or air mattresses for these special kids. The kids were each assigned a locker with personalized name plates and their own player cards. They spent time chatting with Girardi and exchanging autographs.
“This is the first year that Bob’s has teamed up with the Phillies to provide beds for the children attending this amazing event,” commented Tim Bell, Bob’s store manager, adding, “Hands-down, the best part of today was seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they saw the Bob’s beds and found out they were taking them home…it was really powerful!”
Time for the Batting Cages, Pizza & Ice Cream
Later in the evening, the new major leaguers took swings in the batting cages with Phillies Ballgirls and partook in traditional sleepover food like pizza, ice cream and popcorn, while watching a late-night movie in the clubhouse. The sleepover concluded the following morning with breakfast and photo opportunities in the Phillies dugout.
This event started five years ago after an anonymous fan donated his Phantastic Auction Phillies Sleepover to children at area hospitals. The Phillies decided to pay it forward and now include a sleepover as part of the team’s annual Season of Giving.
“I’m a big baseball fan so seeing how the Phillies give back like this is just fantastic,” said Brendan McKeegan, Bob’s distribution manager from Aberdeen, MD. “On behalf of Bob’s I’d like to extend a big “thank you” to the Phillies for including Bob’s in this phantastic event!”