The Jacksonville Jaguars and Ashley HomeStore hosted the fifth annual Hope to Dream Stadium SleepoverTM on Monday, August 8, at EverBank Field and were honored by Mayor Curry for the program's importance to the Jacksonville community. Hope to Dream launched in Jacksonville, Fla., nearly six years ago, and since that time approximately 40,000 children have received free beds from Ashley HomeStore.
Mayor Curry's proclamation declared August 8 as "Ashley HomeStore's Hope To Dream Day."
The Stadium Sleepover™, which also originated here in Jacksonville, is a celebration of the program and the Jaguars / Ashley HomeStore partnership, which continues to grow and create more opportunities to give back to the local community.
On Monday evening, 100 underserved children from around the First Coast enjoyed an unforgettable sleepover experience at EverBank Field and were surprised to learn that the beds they were sleeping on would be delivered to their homes the next day. The children were all eligible for Ashley HomeStore's Hope to Dream program, which funds the free beds directly from proceeds of mattress sales in its showrooms. Many of the recipients were recommended from local, child-serving organizations, including Tom Coughlin's Jay Fund, Children's Home Society, Sulzbacher, 88 Blessings Inc. and the Salvation Army. The children selected receive a quality twin mattress, foundation, frame, sheets, pillows and comforter set; all provided free of charge from Ashley HomeStore.
"I am inspired every day by the care and compassion displayed by the people of this great city," said Mayor Lenny Curry. "This event is an example of people coming together as One City, One Jacksonville, and closing the disparity gaps that affect people's basic needs. I believe every child in Jacksonville deserves a safe place to live, rest and dream."
As much as Ashley HomeStore supports the Jaguars, Coach Gus Bradley and his wife Michaela support Hope to Dream, and have participated in the Stadium Sleepover™ since its inception. "It's truly remarkable to see the impact that Ashley HomeStore has made in the Jacksonville community," said Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley. "We're honored to be affiliated with the program, and it's such an incredible evening. Having the opportunity to spend time with the kids and their families and seeing their excitement is always an unforgettable experience. Howard and his staff do a fantastic job of making this an evening to remember for each and every child."
During the event Ashley HomeStore-Jacksonville CEO, Howard Fineman, thanked the Bradleys for their belief in the good that comes from great sleep and giving back. He acknowledged that since the partnership began, the Bradleys have been a part of over 1,000 Hope to Dream beds being donated to local First Coast children in need through not only the Stadium Sleepover™, but also through monthly deliveries and the HIT THE SACK game day program which gifts a bed to a local child for every Jaguars sack. "Our partnership with the Jaguars is personal," said Fineman. "When you tell a child that from this day forward, they have a bed of their own and will never sleep on the floor or a cot or sofa again, their world changes. The Bradleys understand that what we're doing impacts these kids on the most fundamental level. It's truly unique to find partners like this who absorb what our team's mission is and make the time to give back just because it's the right thing to do. They are one of a kind."
Several other NFL teams have joined in on the momentum by holding their own Stadium SleepoversTM with Ashley HomeStores in their respective NFL cities this year, including the Dallas Cowboys, with more in development for 2017.
Numerous Jaguars and Ashley HomeStore partners have also jumped onboard to make the event more memorable to the children, including Beason4, BedGear, Bubba Burger, Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q, Chick-fil-A, Culligan, Firehouse Subs, Gatorade, P&G, Papa Johns, Pepsi, Peterbrooke, Risk Assurance Partners, Sunbelt Rentals, Zaxby's, Ashley Sleep and Tempur-Sealy, among others.
The children and their chaperones enjoyed activities, including stadium tours, games, a dance party with THE ROAR and the thrill of watching a movie on the world's largest videoboards. Ashley HomeStore team members also volunteer their time for the event, as well as FLORIDA BLUE volunteers.
A portion of the proceeds from every mattress purchase at the local Ashley HomeStores benefits local children in need. Families in need of beds for children ages 3-16 should complete nomination forms in any local Ashley HomeStore showroom or online at www.ahopetodream.com.