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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

After 92 years, woman sees Chicago Cubs in action

Friday, June 16, 2006

Submitted photo

Decked out in their gear and displaying their sign, Emma Smith, 92, and Trenton Coffman, 11, prepare to go inside the Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds, before their game against the Chicago Cubs on June 8.

Age is not a factor when it comes to having a blast at a baseball game.

For Emma Smith; her daughter, Judy Parlett; and her 11-year-old great-grandson, Trenton Coffman, a baseball game is a wish come true.

Emma, 92, has been a Cubs fan for 73 years, since she married her husband in 1936.

"Mother watches every Cubs game that is on TV," Judy said. "She never misses a game."

Years of watching their games on television just doesn't do the team justice. She has never had the opportunity to see them play in person. Until last Thursday, that is.

Judy contacted Never Too Late last year.

"It is just like a Make-A-Wish, but for the elderly," Judy said.

Based in Indianapolis, Never Too Late is a not-for-profit organization that grants wishes for senior citizens and residents of nursing homes and hospices across the United States.

Bob Haverstick founded the organization in January 2000 and has granted more than 1,000 wishes since.

Judy was hoping that the organization would grant Emma's wish of seeing the Cubs.

Last month Judy received a response from the organization stating that Emma and two guests would be able to go see the June 8 Chicago Cubs Vs. Cincinnati Reds game and visit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, all at no cost to the family.

Never Too Late paid for the trip, including gasoline, meals, hotel room and admission to the game and zoo.

While the Cubs lost the game against the Reds (7-1), Emma was able to watch infielder Tony Womack hit one out of the park, making the only run scored for the Cubs.

A little disappointing for Emma, but Judy says that just being there made her mother's day.

The last stop on the Never Too Late trip was a visit to the second oldest zoo in the nation, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio, another first for Emma.

"It is so big, we didn't even get to see all of it," Judy said.

Now back at home, Emma has numerous memories of the organization that helped make her wish come true.

"I want Never Too Late to know how much we appreciate what they are doing for the elderly," Judy said. "More people should get involved and help make wishes come true for our elders."

Contact Never Too Late at www.nevertoolate.org, (317) 823-4705 or by mail at 8538 Tidewater Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46236, for more information, making a wish or offering your help.

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