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VooDoo Changes One Young Life Forever

Monday April 22, 2013

 Smiles Are Contagious

NEW ORLEANS (April 22, 2012) – One very special teenager got the chance of a lifetime as he returned a kick for a touchdown last Friday night with the support of the entire VooDoo team in front of thousands of VooDoo fans.

Andrew Lafourcade is a 14-year-old boy who lives with Down Syndrome. However, Andrew has not let his genetic disorder get in the way of his love for sports. Andrew grew up watching his brothers play baseball, which sparked his interest in sports. Although Andrew is not able to play sports at a playground anymore because of insurance restrictions, the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans has provided Andrew with a second chance at his dreams. The Miracle League is designed to serve kids who cannot be accommodated by established baseball and soccer leagues because of special needs and/or their disabilities. The vision of the program is to provide any disabled child, regardless of their level of disability, the opportunity to play team sports and enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of being part of a team.

Andrew has been a member of the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans for about five years and participates in competitive baseball and soccer. In addition, basketball will be starting this summer and Andrew will be the first one in line to sign up, and he’ll have a huge smile on his face.

The vibrant 14- year-old got the chance to live out his dream of playing professional sports on Friday, April 19, at the New Orleans VooDoo Arena Football League Game. Andrew was VooDoo from head to toe as he strutted his brand new official VooDoo uniform on the field during warm-ups with team. The players welcomed Andrew as one of their own and taught him a few tricks. As the whistle blew to begin the game, the ball was kicked to VooDoo kick returner Brent Holmes. Holmes then passed the ball over to Andrew who took off as the VooDoo kick returner. Andrew’s mother, Ann Lafourcade, reminded Andrew to not get “too fancy.” However, Andrew chose to make this kick return his very own. Smiles spread across the faces of those fans in the New Orleans Arena as Andrew zig- zagged through the opposing team players, his VooDoo teammates were behind him cheering him on. “He’s at the 40, the 30, the 20, the 10, TOUCHDOWN,” exclaimed the PA announcer. The crowd went crazy and Andrew showed off his dancing skills as he celebrated with his team by performing his own version of the “salsa.”

“This day has made Andrew’s life! He was so excited and I was so proud of him for getting the job done,” exclaimed Andrew’s mother Ann.

Andrew’s experience may only be a memory to most, but his kick return for the touchdown was caught live on COX 4 and seen by thousands and will always be an amazing life experience for him. Andrew and his family are now able to relive this memory over and over again as they watch the recorded tape of Andrew’s once-in-a-lifetime scoring run.

The entire VooDoo Nation joined together to help a young man pursue his dream on a professional football field last Friday. When Andrew crossed the VooDoo goal line, he scored far more than six points for himself; he proved to all that no matter how tough it can get, dreams are real and can definitely come true.

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About the New Orleans VooDoo
The New Orleans VooDoo will play in the New Orleans Arena, an SMG managed facility directly across the street from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Single game tickets for VooDoo regular season home games are on sale now by calling 504-875-3900. For more information call (888) 277-5526 for Vice President and Director of Operations, Jason Coffel. To shop all things VooDoo, visit www.voodoostuff.com and get your gear today.

About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the AFL has afforded the fast-paced and exciting game of Arena Football to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The NFL Network will once again broadcast an AFL National Game of the Week for the entire regular and post season on Friday nights at 8:00 pm EST, culminating with the ArenaBowl Championship Game in August.