CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. - On the same day Dennis Drue was in court, Matt Hardy was out of the state thanks to generous donors from all over the world. He spent a few days in Florida so he could cheer on the Fighting Irish in the championship game.
Matt Hardy calls it the experience of a lifetime.
While most of us watched the BCS Championship Game on ESPN, Matt and his best friend got to experience it in the stands. Matt said he loved every minute even though they were surrounded by crimson and white instead of navy blue and gold.
"One of the kids behind us had Alabama pompoms and kept hitting us in the head every time they scored. It was kind of funny," said Matt.
Along with attending the game, Matt was able to spend three nights in Miami, snapping pictures as he took in the sights and sounds. All of it is thanks to Shenendehowa High School alumni. The effort was spearheadewd by teacher Jon Piraino who was able to spring the surprise on Christmas Eve.
"His smile, it's contagious. It just didn't go away. He was very excited. He was kind of taken aback and in shock," said Piraino. "The great thing about it was to see where the pledges were coming from. Some of them were coming from Singapore, Japan, London, California, Colorado, all over the place. So it was really exciting to see all that happen."
Matt became a fan of the Fighting Irish about ten years ago after his brother won tickets to a Notre Dame game against Syracuse and got to tag along. Even with the loss Monday night, you can bet Matt Hardy is no fair-weather fan.
"Yeah, I'll keep rooting for them. Next year they'll do just as good. Hopefully they're going to win," said Matt.
Since that terrible night back in December, it's been a rocky path and being able to get away for even a while meant a lot.
"I'm really thankful and grateful that they did this for me," said Matt. "It really lifted my spirits and helped me out."
Piraino said they are still accepting donations since they did not raise all $6,000 needed for the trip. Any money donated above that will be given to the Hardy family in the form of a gift card for groceries.
ALBANY, N.Y. – A Nobel Peace Prize nominee will be in Albany on Saturday. Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence will rally in Townsend Park from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kelly is a peace activistMore >>
A Nobel Peace Prize nominee will be in Albany on Saturday.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – This weekend marks the final weekend of skating at the Empire State Plaza ice rink. The NYS Office of General Services has announced that Sunday will be the final day of skating for theMore >>
This weekend marks the final weekend of skating at the Empire State Plaza ice rink.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Ninth Annual Hannaford Kidz Expo is Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza, the annual Kidz Expo will be held, courtesy of Hannaford. The Hannaford Kidz Expo offersMore >>
The Ninth Annual Hannaford Kidz Expo is Saturday.More >>
RENSSELAER, N.Y. – Students from 36 schools in three counties will come together on Saturday for the Region 4 Odyssey of the Mind Tournament. From 8:10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the RensselaerMore >>
Students from 36 schools in three counties will come together on Saturday for the Region 4 Odyssey of the Mind Tournament.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A fire broke out at St. Anthony's Church Friday evening. The call for the fire at 331 Seward Place came in around 6:30 p.m. The fire started in the basement and spread upward causingMore >>
A fire broke out at St. Anthony's Church Friday evening.More >>
TROY, N.Y. – A local church is giving a gun away in a raffle, and a politician has received threats for participating in the event. Grace Baptist Church in Troy will be giving a gun away in a raffle onMore >>
A local church is giving a gun away in a raffle, and a politician has received threats for participating in the event.More >>
SOUTH GLENS FALLS N.Y. – The 37TH Annual South High Marathon Dance kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. in the South Glens Falls High School gym. The Marathon Dance has been around for decades, starting with onlyMore >>
The 37th annual South High Marathon Dance kicked-off Friday. More >>
TROY, N.Y. – A fire broke out at the Red Front restaurant in Troy Friday evening. The call for the fire came in just after 6 p.m. The fire started in the attic of the Division Street eatery. The restaurantMore >>
A fire broke out at the Red Front restaurant in Troy Friday evening.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany Police Department is warning the school community about an e-mail scheme circulating various campuses around the country. The e-mail scheme contains threateningMore >>
The University at Albany Police Department is warning the school community about an e-mail scheme circulating various campuses around the country.More >>
EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – A 19-year-old was arrested and charged Friday for having sexual relations with a minor. An investigation by the East Greenbush Police Department determined Jared Watts had sexualMore >>
A 19-year-old was arrested and charged Friday for having sexual relations with a minor.More >>