There’s no other way to begin this blog post other than with a Chuck Norris fact…and that fact is that Jack Bretz didn’t hang out with Chuck Norris…Chuck Norris got to hang out with THE Jack Bretz! I am so excited to finally share with you all some of my absolute favorite Dream on 3 moments ever – all which took place during our recent trip to Las Vegas where our amazing dream kid, Jack, got to meet his sports super hero Chuck Norris! If you’re a reader of my blog, you’ve probably seen my previous posts about Dream on 3, a Charlotte area charity organization founded by two of my dear friends with the goal of creating unique experiences where children who have chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, or life-altering conditions have their sports dreams come true. I’m honored to be a proud sponsor of the organization and officially part of their Dream Team.
Our most recent dream experience took us just over 2,000 miles to the famous city of Las Vegas! What kind of sports dream takes the dream team to Vegas you ask? Jack’s awesome dream – to meet Chuck Norris, take a selfie, and put it on a tshirt! Jack, a 20-year-old freshman at UNC-Charlotte, was diagnosed with A.L.L (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) last August. At the time of his diagnosis he was only weeks away from earning his black belt in Tang Soo Do. As an avid martial arts fan Jack naturally looks up to Chuck Norris and looks forward to not only earning his black belt in Tang Soo Do but also excelling in Chuck Norris’ school of Chun Kuk Do once he beats his fight with cancer.
On Friday July 18th the Dream on 3 limo picked up Jack and his family to begin the Chuck Norris Las Vegas adventure. The first surprise Dream on 3 had prepared for Jack was an amazing sendoff at Jack’s martial arts studio, US-K Martial Arts! Jack’s family, nurses from Novant health, his Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers and close friends all joined together for an amazingly energized sendoff! Once his loved ones gave him hugs and well wishes, we were all off to the airport to fly out to Las Vegas.
Our trip to Las Vegas for Jack’s dream was truly magical, historical, full of excitement and inspirational. Jack – words can’t even begin to describe how your courage inspires me, and all of us at Dream on 3. We believe in you, are so proud of you, and are honored to call you a friend. Thank you for inspiring us to always stay positive, even when fighting life’s toughest battle. Because after all, we all know even Superman wears Jack Bretz pajamas
Special thank you to all the amazing local and national organizations and donors who helped make this trip so amazing for Jack, his family and Dream on 3!
For more information about the amazing organization, Dream on 3, please check out their website and help more dreams come true!
To view, share, download and print more images from Jack’s Las Vegas & Chuck Norris dream experience, click the link below!
Special thanks to Donald for another amazing dream experience video!
Throughout the weekend, Jack and his family had VIP access to the Chun Kuk Do International Training Conference and World Championships at South Point Hotel & Casino. The amazing United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF) as well as Chuck Norris himself joined together to make Jack’s dream experience truly magical. During the conference banquet and awards dinner Jack had a private meet and greet with Mr. Chuck Norris before he was brought on stage to take the infamous selfie. The moment Jack was welcomed onstage all 1,100 of the conference attendees gave him a standing ovation and cheered loudly as he took the selfie with Mr. Norris. It was such an amazing moment for Jack!
But the dream experience was far from over – and surprises were around every corner. Sunday morning we headed out for a breathtaking airplane tour of the Grand Canyon (donated by Grand Canyon Tours). This was a surprise for Jack – who had another dream of seeing the Grand Canyon one day – and just an added fun bonus for the entire dream team. As luck would have it, our tour finished a little earlier than we anticipated and we headed back to the hotel where we were asked by UFAF to join Mr. Norris for a photo session.
The moment Jack and his family walked into the room, Mr. Norris, his brother, and the board of directors of UFAF welcomed him with open arms. The energy of the room was absolutely magical and truly full of hope. After Mr. Norris signed Jack’s custom Dream on 3 karate gi and took a few formal photos with the entire family, he warmly embraced Jack’s shoulders and began a conversation with all of us that I will never forget.
“I want to let you know that the Board of Directors has met and reached a unanimous decision. On behalf of the United Fighting Arts Federation we would like to promote Jack to black belt. Jack is now a black belt in Chun Kuk Do and an official member of UFAF. This is exactly the kind of young man we like in our organization,” Mr. Norris said.
The rest of the day was filled with hugs, joyous laughter and happy tears. Jack’s historical promotion to black belt…by THE Chuck Norris of all people…is a reminder that no matter the fight you may face having faith, hope and the love of your friends, family and community will always help make your dreams come true.
Charity Event Photographer: Sunny Hutchinson of Themba Imagery
Sunny Hutchinson is the owner and lead photographer of the Charlotte NC photography company, Themba Imagery. Themba Imagery offers timeless and heartfelt wedding and portrait photojournalism as well as international event & humanitarian photography. Themba Imagery hosts an Annual Wedding Photography Giveaway every January and a portion of every wedding collection purchased from Themba Imagery is donated to a charity of the bride and groom’s choice.