NFL player takes young fan to father-daughter dance after her dad’s death
“A dream is a wish your heart makes.”
That might be a famous lyric from a Disney classic, but one young girl had her own Cinderella story come true thanks to a kind-hearted prince who happens to play in the NFL.
Audrey Soape, an 11-year-old girl from Texas, has already experienced much loss in her young life. In 2021, both her father and grandfather died unexpectedly. Trying to bounce back from tragedies like that isn’t easy for anyone. So, when Audrey’s church announced that it was holding a father-daughter dance, the girl’s pain felt fresh as she thought about what could have been.
But Audrey’s mom, Holly Soape, did her best imitation of a fairy godmother to see if her princess could still go to the dance. Instead of another man from her family, Soape aimed high and reached out to Audrey’s favorite football player, Philadelphia Eagles free safety Anthony Harris. She knew her request was a big ask, but the thoughtful mother reached out to Harris on social media, anyway.
“I just asked if he would be willing to come,” Soape told ABC News. “And he said, ‘Not only will I come, but I want to make sure she feels like a princess.'”
And Harris made a plenty of magic of his own, as the photos from Soape’s Facebook page show.
According to Soape’s post, Harris not only promised to fly into town to take Audrey to the dance, but he also got her the “dress of her dreams,” arranged to get her hair and makeup done professionally, and had a car pick her up for her appointments. Then, he arrived at their home to escort Audrey to the dance, where they apparently had a blast.
Harris downplayed his actions to Philadelphia’s WCAU-TV during an interview after his generosity was revealed.
“[I’m] just trying to be human,” Harris said. “Trying to take off the helmet, trying to take off the cape of what I do professionally and just show some sympathy for that family and try to show support there.”
The story quickly went viral as people were touched by the act of kindness from a superstar athlete looking to help heal a little girl’s broken heart. You can see a report by ABC’s “World News Tonight” below.
AMERICA STRONG: Philadelphia Eagles free safety, Anthony Harris, stepped up to make an 11-year-old girl’s dream come true by taking her to her school’s daddy-daughter dance after she lost both her father and grandfather last year. @LinseyDavis reports. https://t.co/6LDqzQboha pic.twitter.com/u1NnPsiMV3
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) February 7, 2022
During their many media interviews since the story broke, both Audrey and her mom haven’t been able to say enough kind things for the hard-hitting sweetheart who stepped in to make the dance one of the best nights of the girl’s life.
“This was truly a night to remember, and I don’t think I’ll ever fully wrap my mind around it,” Holly Soape shared on Facebook. “I’m so grateful to have people surrounding me who step up and love us through the difficult valleys we’ve walked through. God showed up big and brought people into our lives that have lifted us up and walked alongside us. I’m just at a loss to express it all. What an unforgettable night and one that will live on in us forever.”