Family gets special chance to see SECCG

Columbia, SC – November 2010: Children's Chance, a non-profit organization that helps South Carolina children with cancer and their families, recently received a generous donation of 4 Tickets to the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, December 4th at 4:00 pm televised on CBS between The University of South Carolina and Auburn University.

The donor, an LSU supporter from Baton Rouge, LA, contacted Children's Chance's Executive Director Tom McGee, to discuss his desire to donate tickets and explain what compelled him to do so. His only request was that the tickets go to a family who had a child that was battling cancer.

Tom re-counts his interaction with this special donor and explains, "As Executive Director of a small non profit organization in Columbia, SC, we get our share of interesting and heart wrenching phone calls. Most are seeking help and support for a family member or a friend who has a child struggling to overcome cancer. They call us because, that is what we do".

Last Tuesday Children's Chance received such a phone call from a special man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Don Zito, which would translate into a heartwarming story of giving and generate lifetime memories for one special family.

Mr. Zito said that he had become aware of Children's Chance a couple of years ago after reading a newspaper article about one of the organization's annual events, "An Evening with the Gamecocks". The article told about how the event had grown starting with Lou Holtz and how the relationship had developed between Children's Chance, Steve Spurrier and the University of South Carolina football program.

"An Evening with the Gamecocks" is held each year and brings together children with cancer from across South Carolina and the USC football team and coaching staff. It is the highlight of the year for almost all of the children and families in attendance. The evening is an opportunity for children with cancer and their families to spend a special night with their heroes.

Ironically, the coaching staff and players let our kids know early on in the evening that they, the ‘young warriors' are the real heroes. Many of our families that attend are Clemson Tiger fans and show up in their orange and purple jerseys but are treated just as specially as their Gamecock counterparts.

Mr. Zito's proposition was to provide one of our families with 4 tickets to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta on December 4th. He reluctantly allowed his name to be divulged stating that his gesture was not about gaining any publicity for himself. He simply wanted a family who has experienced the terrifying uncertainty of having their child diagnosed with cancer to have an opportunity to have a ‘few hours away from the turmoil of their day to day life."

He went on to say that while he respected Coach Spurrier's coaching ability, his willingness to give of himself to those who are struggling with issues most of us never have to confront was what he respected most.

Tom, Executive Director of Children's Chance, had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Zito and explains, "We here at Children's Chance, grow frustrated from time to time that we are not able to do more to help our families and the children that fight so valiantly to recover. It is only through the generosity of and unselfish gestures from true giants that we can help those families who need us. Don Zito has helped one of our families experience the trip of a lifetime and given a family who has experienced more heartache than most of us can imagine, memories that will last forever. Thank you Don".

For more information on this story, the family who is attending the SEC Championship, or Children's Chance, please contact 803-254-5996, email to:, or visit

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