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Dad of special needs child thanks Georgia Southern
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      I felt compelled to write this letter and relate to you my experience with the Buddy Ball program that was held at Mill Creek Park on Oct. 17.
      My son is a special needs child that finds it very difficult to relate to people on a daily basis. He is also a huge fan of Georgia Southern athletics, so when he heard that he could have a chance to play along side the GSU men’s baseball team and women’s softball team, he was very excited.
      When we arrived at Mill Creek he was visibly anxious to get on the field and play some ball. I was very impressed with the young men and women of GSU athletics and their very caring way with the children that were there. We hear so much about how today’s youth are self centered and personally disconnected from face to face interaction, but I can tell you that I saw none of this on that afternoon. 
      The young man that was my son’s “buddy” stayed with him the entire afternoon and treated him like a friend rather than someone who is different from the societal norm. It was very emotional as a parent to watch my shy, introverted child open up and have a wonderful afternoon playing with other children and all of their GSU “buddies”.
      I would like to thank the United Way of Southeast Georgia and others for putting this program together.  I would also like to thank the athletes of Georgia Southern baseball and softball for their participation in this event.
     In case they ever wonder, I would just like to let them know that they do make a difference in the lives of children in our community and I appreciate their efforts and what they do.
J. Darell Waters
Director, Auxiliary Services
East Georgia Regional Medical Center

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