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Chad's Wish
 
 
Chad Singleton is well-known in the small town of Eight Mile. He knows all of the regulars at Burger Master, a popular home-cooking restaurant, where he eats breakfast every day. "(Chad) flirts with all of the women," his father, Frank Singleton, said. "He has a great time every day." And, for years, Singleton was known for dressing up as Elvis in a white jumpsuit and riding in the Semmes Christmas parade. In turn, Singleton loves just about everyone, but perhaps no one more than Garth Brooks.

Singleton's dream of meeting the country legend came true on Friday thanks to family friend, Ricky Dearmon and the non-profit organization, Gifts from the Heart for Downs, which grants wishes for children and adults with Down syndrome. Singleton, 35, has Down syndrome and lives with his parents, Frank and Diane. Chad said meeting his favorite singer was the best day of his life. "I love him," he said. Dearmon said he wrote a letter to Gifts from the Heart for Downs because Chad desperately wanted to meet Garth Brooks. "We thought it was a shot in the dark," he said. But, a year later, he learned Chad's wish was granted. Brooks agreed to meet Chad before his Friday, July 29 show in Bossier City, La.

Gifts from the Heart for Downs arranged for Chad, his parents and Dearmon's family to stay for two nights at the Homewood Suites in Shreveport, La. The organization paid for the group's meals including two dinners at Carrabbas Italian Grill. A limousine took them to the concert. Frank Singleton said the experience was "unbelievable". "If you want to steal our heart, you do something for our son," he said. And, that's what Brooks and his wife, country music star Trisha Yearwood did. Brooks and Yearwood spent about 20 minutes with Chad and his family prior to the start of the show.

Dearmon said he expected Brooks to be nice, but not to this level. "It was like sitting and talking to your new neighbors that just moved in," he said. "(Brooks) made it all about Chad." When Brooks walked into the room, Chad was in awe, Dearmon said. "(Chad) said: 'You are Garth Brooks,'" he said, and Brooks replied: "Yes, I am." Frank Singleton said: "(Chad's) eyes were just glued on him. He was just overwhelmed when he saw him and Trisha." Of course, Chad's family wasn't immune. "I had to hug up Trisha and get some pictures," Frank Singleton said. "My wife had to hug up Garth and get some pictures." Dearmon said Chad wore a purple and white shirt to the concert that Brooks said he noticed was similar to one he owned. Brooks said he would find the shirt and wear it on stage. But when they couldn't find the shirt, a staffer came out and told Chad because Brooks didn't want him to be disappointed, he said.

Just as Chad was walking out of the pre-concert meet-and-greet, Brooks took his signature black cowboy hat from his head and handed it to him, Dearmon said. Brooks didn't stop at that. Dearmon said it was as if Brooks planned the entire show around Chad. Brooks pointed at and addressed Chad throughout the two-plus hour show. Brooks ended the concert with Chad's favorite song "Standing Outside the Fire." Just before walking off stage, Brooks handed Chad his guitar. "(Chad) ain't come down yet," his father said the next day. "He is still toting the guitar and hat"

By Erin Edgemon | eedgemon@al.com
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on July 30, 2016 at 4:57 PM, updated July 30, 2016 at 9:57 PM
 
 
Gifts From the Heart for Down was founded by Kimberley Adams in January 2010. Motivated by her two adopted children who both have Down Syndrome, Kimberley sought to do all that she possibly could to help make her children's lives and others living with Down Syndrome a little bit better. Initially, Kimberley worked with Dave Girgenti to help form Down Syndrome Heroes, an organization which falls under the Wish Upon a Heroes organizational umbrella. As a volunteer for Down Syndrome Heroes, Kimberley worked to grant 8 wishes – wishes that came from throughout the United States. Each wish was unique and especially meaningful to the person hoping that their wish would come true, including:
 
Meeting celebrities
Celebrating a special birthday with a catered affair complete with limousine service and "decked out in tails"
Adapted equipment such as bicycles, strollers and a bed
 
Today, Gift From the Heart for Downs, a newly incorporated organization designed to focus on the needs of children and adults with Down Syndrome, is preparing to make more wishes come true for those with Down Syndrome.

From its humble beginning as one person's dream, to its infancy as a one-woman labor of love, and now with an engaged Board of Directors, Gifts From the Heart for Downs continues to grow. However, Gifts From the Heart for Downs needs your help and every gift makes a difference!
 
You can help by:
Click the link on our website to make your secure donation online
When shopping the internet use iGive, and sign up Gifts From the Heart for Downs and the organization will
receive a donation based on your purchase
Organize a community, neighborhood or school bottle drive, car wash or barbecue to benefit Gifts From the
Heart for Downs (feel free to contact us for more ideas)
Check back with us regularly to learn more about Gifts From the Heart for Downs and to see what might be
listed on our wish list!
 
What's your wish?
With your help, every gift will help provide a special someone with a wish that can be everlasting.
 
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Thankyou to the Following
Leo & Lenore Ganert
Frances Lavieri
Dave & Judy Smith
The Molvey's
Riley Spran
for Your Contributions
 
 
 
 
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