VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – Coming off a huge win on Sunday, the undefeated Los Angeles Rams came back home to help local kids in need.
Andrew Firestone hosted the event held at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake. “How fitting that we do this event on a night when the LA Rams are 5-0,” said Firestone.
“It is such a great partnership with the LA Rams,” said Pattie Mullins, the CEO of Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties. “They are such a community focus organization and we are grateful to have their support and granting more wishes for the community.”
For the first time, the NFL team teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties in a benefit dinner supporting kids up and down the coast. The night was extra special for one Santa Barbara 'Wish Kid' who received an opportunity of a lifetime.
“Where is Gilbert at? Come here Gilbert,” said Andrew Whitworth.
Four-time Pro Bowler and LA Rams Captain Andrew Whitworth surprised Gilbert Cabrera with something he’s only dreamed about.
“Gilbert, we heard a little rumor that you have a wish and we want to make that wish come true,” said Whitworth. “On October 28th we play the Green Bay Packers and you are coming to see us play, and you will have pregame sideline passes, and you are going to meet Todd Girly.”
The wish got even better when Rams Quarterback Jared Goff came one stage with another surprise.
“And we want to give you two more tickets to what should be another one of our games in the Super Bowl this year,” said Goff.
Gilbert's hands covered his face in complete shock and excitement.
“There are so many emotions going on right now you know,” said Gilbert. “With everything I have gone through medically, so right now I am feeling really happy.”
“I have so much joy just to see how happy it made him,” said Whitworth.
The foundation grants the wishes to children who are diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions in the U.S. The local chapter, Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, has granted the wishes or more than 16,500 local children in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.
“We are thrilled that it is our first annual event and it is sold out,” said Mullins. “The support from the community was outstanding and this will help us grant more wishes for children living in our Tri-Counties. We have over 140 kids waiting on wishes right now, so this is a great support to us.”
“I think it is important because what we get to do in the NFL and what an amazing experience it is, but in my opinion, it gives us the opportunity to come and make a difference in peoples lives,” said Whitworth. “The least we can do is go and be a part of the community and find ways to inspire them as well, so this is just an awesome opportunity.”
For this senior at Dos Pueblos high school, it was a night he will never forget.
“I am just speechless right now seeing Andrew Whitworth and seeing Jerod Goff and all the players that came here today,” said Gilbert. “I am just thankful and my legs are still shaking and I am filled with enjoyment right now.”