Pink chairs to be filled with American Family Children’s Hospital patients at Forward Madison games
MADISON, Wis. — The next time you visit Breese Stevens Field, you’ll notice that there’s a new section of pink chairs grouped together in a section called Flamingo Beach. The 16 bright pink chairs all sit in the front row on the field to get the best view of the game.
Don’s Home Furniture and Forward Madison FC partnered together to build custom chairs to be filled with patients and their families from the American Family Children’s Hospital at all of their home games.
“We specially designed the chairs to be a little taller, we specially designed a little different back to them, a little wider arm and a little wider foot rest to them, so that it would be easy for them to get in and out if they had some complications from surgeries,” said Blaine Neupert, the CEO of Don’s Home Furniture.
Each of the chairs’ armrests has the Forward Madison FC logo carved into it. The chairs made their debut last Saturday at their opening game.
“We had a sold out crowd last Saturday for opening night. Three inches of snow. Just the way we would want it here in Wisconsin,” said Forward Madison FC’s CEO Conor Caloia.
Everyone who sits in the pink chairs will receive a Forward Madison T-shirt, food, drinks and will get to meet the team before each game.
“This is a community endeavor for us,” Caloia said.
While Neupert was part of the team that helped design the chairs, Neupert said, “It was the Amish that actually built them.”
Neupert said every chair is built with purpose, care and recycled materials.
“They’re recycled milk jugs,” Neupert said.
Each chair is made out of about 950 recycled milk jugs. The chairs are also weather resistant.
While Neupert wouldn’t address how much it cost to make the chairs, he said it was more about the thought that went into making each one perfect. It took several months to make the chairs and all of them were donated to Forward Madison as a way to provide the kids and their families a chance to take a break from the hospital environment. Neupert said the chairs mean so much more to him than what meets the eye.
“One of my relatives is going through a little bit of this at the moment. He is 14, 15 years old and he’s been in and out of the hospital for six months,” Neupert said. “Getting a chance to enjoy life for a while is something that a lot of the kids and the families just don’t have.”
Neupert said his relative’s name is Carson and has brain cancer. He said getting to see kids get the opportunity to escape the stress that can come with an illness is worth every penny.
“If something small like this can make a difference, even just for a few hours, it’s worth it,” Neupert said.
The American Family Children’s hospital spokesperson was not available to comment on what these chairs and this opportunity means to the kids or to the hospital. However, a strategic marketing team member with Don’s Home Furniture said an email is sent out to all eligible families to offer seats at each game and the families are chosen by lottery.
Don’s Home Furniture and #ForwardMadisonFC teamed up to build custom pink chairs for their soccer games that will be filled with patients from the #AmericanFamilyChildrensHospital to give them a chance to have fun outdoors, even if it’s just for a little while #News3Now pic.twitter.com/wUjVRwuIgr
— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) May 2, 2019
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