Meet Jake, one of our recent Dream On 3 recipients!
Jake: Jake is a 15 year old Mt Holly boy living with autism. Jake struggles with anxiety that causes him to have difficulties with social interaction and communication. Jake has a service dog to provide him comfort. He is currently in his first year of high school, attending 2 classes at school and 2 at home. Jake has an amazing memory and loves to share his knowledge about NASCAR, roller coasters, and legos! Jake wants to live on his own one day and participates in a pre-employment program at a local bakery once a week.
Referral Partner: Jake was referred to us by The Arc of NC.
His Dream: Jake is a huge NASCAR fan and his favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt Jr.! Jake wants to be a NASCAR driver when he grows up and says he admires Earnhardt because he “is like superman!” Jake’s sports Dream was to meet Dale Jr. and see his pit crew up close at the Coca Cola 600.
His Dream Experience: On Friday, May 22nd, Jake was picked up by a special edition Camaro owned by our friend Dewey Stump. Dewey escorted Jake to Dale Jr.’s shop in Mooresville where he was able to have a private meet & greet with Dale Jr., and meet several other drivers such as Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott! Lancaster’s BBQ hosted Jake and his family for lunch afterwards.
The sendoff: On Sunday, May 24th, Jake and his family were picked up by limo to attend his VIP send off at the Queen Bee Bakery. Jake works at the Bakery as part of his pre-employment program for school. The Mt. Holly community was present to celebrate his special day with a customized 88 cake just for him!
With police escorts from Mt. Holly to Charlotte Motor Speedway, Jake enjoyed the ride of his life. Once we arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway Jake was able to meet ZZ Top and then spent the afternoon with Dale Jr’s pit crew as an honorary pit crew member. He was able to do things such as help set up the pit box, get a behind the scenes look at preparation, attend the pit crew meeting in the 88 Hauler, warm up with the pit crew, join them in singing the National Anthem, and even got to watch up close as Dale Jr. came in for his first pit stop!
Jake and his family ended the night watching Dale Jr. in an exciting 3rd place finish from one of the Speedway condos!
There are several people and organizations we would like to thank for making this Dream Experience possible:
The Dale Jr. Foundation
Charlotte Motor Speedway
The John Rose Allstate Agency
Queen Bee Bakery
Katie Spata Photography