Saturday was another special day for hundreds of women from around the state of Iowa, but that's far from all. The 8th annual Iowa Ladies Football Academy raised $306,580 for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. That brings the total raised in eight years to more than $2 million.

Saturday wasn't just a special day for kids and hundreds of women, including my wife Julie who took part for the seventh time. It's also a day each year that sees around 50 Iowa football players, nearly every Hawkeye coach, and Iowa cheerleaders volunteer to help out. Mary Ferentz, the wife of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, is the one behind it all. She and Kirk head up the day's fun.

Julie always comes home with a ton of stories to share and this year was no different. However, my favorite story this year was about Marie-Claire Cerda Higgins. She came all the way from New York because she was touched by the Iowa wave.

Clearly, she came away quite impressed. This is what Claire told me:

Yes I was overwhelmed with emotion when my girlfriend, Karrie showed me “the wave” while on vacation in Belize. She told me about the Ladies Football Academy and how all the money goes to the children’s hospital.
We recently lost our daughters best friend, Reese, to cancer (14 years old) and the joy the wave brings the children in the hospital is outstanding and brings joy to my heart.
I immediately told Karrie to count me in! I had to be part of this and to witness it myself. And being part of the wave did not disappoint. ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you to the Ladies Football Academy for the experience and for Iowa and the Hawkeyes for their kindness and open arms.

Julie James
Julie James

According to MJ Anderson of the Ladies Football Academy Planning Committee, the "... 3rd million (will) endow a Child-Life Therapist position for forever! The University of Iowa Children's Hospital (has) had the first in the nation Child-Life program since 1976... demand continues to GROW."

Thank you for coming all that way, Claire. You aren't the only one who will be back. Julie is ready for 2019, and her eighth Iowa Ladies Football Academy. Mark it on your calendar ladies... it will be Saturday, June 8, 2019.

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