Atlanta Hawks basketball player Joe Johnson stands with the group of Triana children his foundation sponsored.

Archived Story

NBA star provides trips to Triana kids

Published 4:02pm Monday, February 7, 2011

Mary Caudle, mayor of Triana, rounded up a group of 16 kids from the area to embark on an all-expense-paid trip to the Atlanta to watch the Atlanta Hawks play the Golden State Warriors.

The trip came courtesy of the Joe Johnson Foundation, the foundation of Atlanta Hawks player, Joe Johnson.

“It gave them an experience they probably wouldn’t have gotten had it not been furnished that way,” Caudle said. “It ending up being a rewarding thing.”

Below is a first-hand account of the trip as told by Caudle.

The Best Trip Ever

Sometimes in life, unexpected things happen and that is what some of the children in Triana experienced.

Joe Johnson NBA-All Star of the Atlanta Hawks, along with the assistance of his mother, Dianne Johnson and Fred Walker, took 16 children from Triana to Atlanta to see the NBA game between the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, all expenses paid.

The trip was sponsored by the Joe Johnson Foundation.

Wishing that we could have taken everyone, made selecting which children from the community to go was hard. We decided to select some of the children from the Triana Boys and Girls Club/Youth Center that had worked hard this year in school and kept their grades up. Not that they had all As, but had shown a great improvement.

Johnson met us in Harvest, where she greeted the children and told them a little about what to expect on the trip. She took pictures with the children while we waited for the bus that the foundation had chartered.  It was stocked with snacks, drinks and movies so the four-hour trip could be comfortable for the children.

Once the children arrived at the stadium, Johnson and security escorted them to Joe Johnson’s suite.

They had the best seats in the house, a suite that one could only dream of.  They had all the hotdogs, wings, chips, cookies, popcorn and treats they could want.

When they introduced the Atlanta Hawks, the children cheered so hard, you could hear them outside the suite.  Joe Johnson got the loudest cheer of all.

After the game, the children were escorted from the suite to the lower level of the stadium where they got a chance to meet Joe Johnson.  He took pictures and signed autographs for everyone.

Ms. Johnson said she considers the Huntsville/Madison county area her second home, and she wanted to do something for the children in the area.

“The children were so excited, and hopefully, this will be a lifetime experience for them and a trip they will never forget,” Johnson said.

Because of all the excitement, it took them a couple hours into the trip home before everyone went to sleep.  They kept talking about how much fun they had. All I could think of was finally silence.

I was so proud of the children. They were wonderful the entire trip. If you could have seen their faces and heard the excitement in the voices when we arrived you would have said it was The Best Trip Ever.

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