Husker Heroes Outreach Event

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

Sunday night, hundreds came out in Lincoln to meet and play games with their favorite Husker athletes. It was the first ever, Husker Heroes Outreach Event.

You can see it on their faces, meeting their heroes made a huge impact on about 200 special needs Husker fans. More than 200 Husker student-athletes, from all sports, filled the Hawks Championship Center in Lincoln to greet their fans.

In all, the center was filled nearly to capacity, with 700 people taking part. The NU Athletics sponsored the event and partnered with several special needs organizations.

"It's lots of fun, it's just a nice Sunday evening event, and I'm glad to be here and be a part of it," said Renae Rief, of Lincoln. "We're very fortunate to have these community opportunities."

Rief's daughter, Niah, loved running around on the turf, but she also got to meet Lil' Red and a cheerleader.

Ronda Ahl, of Omaha, says her daughter likes running too, but tried plenty of the activities. "They're just doing some stuff with the kids, enjoying it, like Mady just kicked a football and tried to throw a football, and we're getting some autographs."

Tobi Okuyemi plays football and spent the evening signing whatever his fans wanted, but he says the athletes benefit too. "It's just a really good experience, you know getting to see all these kids enjoy this, this is a good thing both ways."

Nancy Meinders' son, Mikeal, tried to hoola-hoop with the wrestling team. "We're having a great time, the boys are getting to see everything that they see on TV, it's just wonderful."

Mikeal is also able to teach something to his helper too. "Just helping them out, I get a blast from this," said Husker wrestler, Dakota Magrew. "This is awesome, I haven't stopped smiling."

Meinders says it's something both the heroes and fans will treasure for a long time to come. For Mikeal, the hoola-hoop is fine, but his true favorite, like so many Husker fans, is football.

"We got to tackle something," said Meinders. "My son loves it."

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