Mike Smith calls huddle to help Children’s Miracle Network

100509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, and team owner Arthur Blank, right, confer on the field during day 3 of the team's minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010.   Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

100509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, and team owner Arthur Blank, right, confer on the field during day 3 of the team's minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Now that minicamp is over, Falcons coach Mike Smith will take a break and host his second annual Huddle Up For Miracles dinner at 7 p.m. Monday at the Capital Grille in Buckhead.

Last year’s event raised $194,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, which locally benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Funds raised go specifically to enhancing the Children’s Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“It’s exciting to come together as a team and help an extremely worthy cause,” said Smith. “Following the success of last year’s event, I have even higher expectations this year. The staff at The Capital Grille is tremendous and our players and coaches are highly anticipating the event.”

Radio announcer Wes Durham will host the event and about 40 players and coaches will serve dinner to guests. The team will also compete for charitable tips and participate in karaoke. The dinner will also feature a live auction.

During the event, Smith will recognize Marcus Nickell, who was struck by an SUV after he lost control of his skateboard in September of 2008. He recovered at Children’s in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and began therapy in the CIRU. Nickell has since progressed to the Day Rehabilitation Program at Children’s to continue therapy.

Those interested in purchasing tickets to the event or making a donation can visit CHOA.org/huddle.

7 comments Add your comment

Billy

May 12th, 2010
4:31 pm

Falcons 4 Real

May 12th, 2010
4:43 pm

After being burned by so many coaches it’s nice to have one we can be proud of on and off the field.

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thunderbull56

May 12th, 2010
10:17 pm

Lost control of your skateboard = half wit.COME ON MAN! Lack of awareness of your surroundings does not constitute POLITICAL AWARWNESS! OR POLITICAL COORECTNESS!

Sportaree

May 12th, 2010
10:28 pm

Thanks DOL for your coverage of this event.

Nite Owl

May 13th, 2010
1:47 am

I wish Mike Smith was my dad and Arthur Blank was my grandpa. It’s great to watch smart guys who have their act together represent my city. Winning seasons to boot. Not bad.

I guess Dimitroff would be the cool uncle, by the way.

@thunderbull56: don’t jump to conclusions. As much as I agree some kids seem oblivious to their surroundings and skate/ride dangerously, I also observe plenty of “responsible adults” driving their SUVs way over the speed limit through neighborhoods, while they adjust the DVD player for their kids in the back seat or try to figure out how to text. Also, spellcheck, man. Peace, though. I want us all to be blogfriends.

Sports Girl

May 17th, 2010
3:47 pm

I went to the fundraiser last year and it was a great time. Matt Ryan singing karaoke was hilrious. Coach Smith is a great and genuine guy and we’re lucky to have him.

@thunderbull56…”In September 2008, Marcus Nickell was struck by an SUV after he lost control of his skateboard. He was transported by helicopter to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where doctors removed a portion of his skull to help control the swelling of his brain, and put him into a medically induced coma to help him heal.

Marcus spent 20 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Though he could not speak when he first awoke from his coma, he used a dry-erase board, writing “It is me,” to assure his parents he was aware and fighting to get better. Marcus began therapy in the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU), where he worked to get stronger every day. He then progressed to the Day Rehabilitation Program to continue therapy. Today, Marcus is a happy 9-year-old who enjoys playing sports and is thriving in school.”