A Special Olympian took center stage at Wrigley Field Monday night.
Stefan Xidas sang the national anthem ahead of the Cubs game against the Brewers.
Stefan Xidas sang the national anthem on #AuthenticFan night, after raising $18,000 for Special Olympics…which will be matched by @Cubs charities. pic.twitter.com/5eazMJxM6f
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) September 11, 2018
“We went to a lot of Cubs games when I was a kid and that had a big impact on me,” he said.
Xidas has tried to sing the anthem at Wrigley for years, ever since he performed it for the White Sox during National Association for Down’s Syndrome Day in 2005, the same year they won the World Series.
Xidas reached out to the Cubs every year. “We either would get no response, or a letter saying hey, it’s all booked up. Try again next year,” said Stan Xidas, father.
That’s when Xidas’s lifelong best friends made a video asking Tom Ricketts for the chance to sing the national anthem if he raised $5,000 for the Special Olympics, for which he plays tennis. Xidas posted to social media three weeks ago and went viral.
“Less than a week, he hit the $5,000 mark, then it inched its way up to $10,000. And I think that as of today, it’s well over $18,0000,” Stand said.
The Cubs will be matching Xidas’ $18,000 in donations to the Special Olympics.