A young Warren man was surprised Wednesday evening during the half-time of Edinboro University's regular season basketball finale.
Austin Hawk, 16, who lost a leg to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) was led out to mid-court by members of Edinboro's Student Athlete Committee where he joined Edinboro President Dr. Julie Wollman, Director of Athletics Bruce Baumgartner and Jan Stork, the senior director of Make-A-Wish for Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Gifts borne by the school's student athletes were then presented to Hawk, including leashes, dog bowls, dog treats, training books, a dog bed, toys and a traveling crate. He also received items from his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers, a certificate for one year's veterinary care from the Kinzua Vet Clinic and a $500 gift card for Pet Smart.
Photos supplied to the Times Observer
A new friend
Austin Hawk received a surprise Wednesday evening during the half-time of the Edinboro University men’s final regular season basketball game. The Make-A-Wish Foundation and the school’s student athletes presented him with “Layla,” a pit bull puppy, and enough goodies to get the two new friends off to a great start.
Hawk is all smiles with Layla, and at left, he poses with family and Edinboro student athletes.
That came to a crescendo with the song "Who Let the Dogs Out," and Edinboro's swim team members bringing out "Layla," a pit bull puppy, to fulfill Hawk's wish.
During an on-camera interview with WJET-TV 24, Hawk said, "I was not expecting her for a while, so I'm just kind of shocked right now."
His mother Tami said, "I wanted to tell him every day."
Over $3,000 was raised during the night from Make-A-Wish sales and donations, to add to the $9,424 already raised by the school's athletic department and other campus entities. The school was listed as one of the top five Division II schools to receive NCAA recognition before the additional fund-raising Wednesday.
Stork presented the school with a plaque from the NCAA commemorating Edinboro's commitment to Make-A-Wish in 2012 and 2013.