CLEVELAND, Ohio — As the Cavaliers faced the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night there were more than 500 very special invited guests cheering them on at Quicken Loans Arena.
As part of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness month, people with different challenges and their families were guests of honor at the game.
They were invited by the team in conjunction with The Arc of Ohio, a non-profit advocacy organization that’s been serving people with disabilities for 70 years.
“It could be downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, even things that don’t have a label yet,” said Gary Tonks, The Arc of Ohio CEO.
Some of the families were from northeast Ohio, but others came from across the state and as far away as Zanesville.
One mom said, “We’ve never been to a professional basketball game and we are so excited to see the Cavs.”
At half time about 30 people in the group even got to go down on the court and give some of the players high fives, including Amy Clawson’s 22-year-old son, Timmy, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Timmy is also a Cavaliers super fan and was smiling from ear to ear and overwhelmed with joy.
“As a family we like to raise awareness any time we can,” said Amy, “It gives us a chance to be part of something bigger than us all.”
Also at the game was Jeff Davis, the Director of the Ohio Department of Disabilities who applauded the Cavs for inviting the group.
He also announced that Governor Mike Dewine was including substantial increases for The Arc of Ohio and people with disabilities in his proposed budget.
“It’s about inclusion, we’re all the same we have different challenges that’s all,” said Dir.Davis, hoping the event not only opened minds but hearts too.
You can learn more about The Arc of Ohio by visiting their website, here.