Five year old Ohio State Buckeyes fan Bennett Williams, while learning all 125 FBS schools and mascots, fell in love with UAB and their fire-breathing dragon. So he followed the Blazers just as closely as he did his Buckeyes.
Earlier this month, Bennett got some bad news. UAB would be canceling their football games for the foreseeable future and there would no longer be a Blazers football team for him to follow on Saturdays.
This upset Bennett and while talking to his father one day, he came up with a way to help.
“He looked at me and said, ‘How much money do they need? Would a dollar help?'” his father Brad recalled to ESPN.com. “I said, ‘Bud, that’s about $22 million short, but why not, we can try.’
So Bennett got out his marker and some stationary and penned a heartfelt letter to the UAB Athletic Department.
— B-Will (@BWill614) December 10, 2014
As Twitter tends to do, the Tweet ended up in front of Reid Adair, a long time staffer in the UAB Athletic Department. He reached out to Brad and let him know how much Bennett had brightened his — and his co-workers — day. He also made sure that Bennett’s letter would reach the appropriate people.
Please tell your son that people who work at UAB saw the picture and are very excited about his letter. We’ve had some rough times around here the last week. I’m e-mailing a picture of the letter to other staff so they can also have their day brightened. The outpouring of concern from all over the country has been overwhelming, but for a child to do this truly touches all of us. Thanks so much for sharing the picture, and we look forward to the letter.
Reid also spoke with ESPN and told them just how much Bennett and his letter meant to him and UAB.
“There’s been so much negativity and people have been so disappointed and upset,” Adair told ESPN.com. “So something like that — a little kid in Ohio who knew nothing else but our dragon logo giving up his allowance to help us — I think we all look at something like that and really appreciate what a bright spot it’s been in a bad time.”
For his selflessness, Bennett got some swag from the UAB athletic department that should make him a fan for years to come. He’ll just have to root for basketball now.
— B-Will (@BWill614) December 15, 2014