Victory Day returns in heartwarming celebration

Tiffin University's football team joined with area youths for the second annual Victory Day.
Tiffin University's football team joined with area youths for the second annual Victory Day.

Another year, another special celebration for area youths as Tiffin University's football team, band, and cheerleaders got together with a number of area youths for their second annual Victory Day celebration.

Victory Day is an event set up for cognitively and physically impaired children to have an opportunity to play football or cheer and have their "moment in the sun."

Each child was partnered up with Dragon Buddies - Tiffin football players or cheerleaders who served as their mentors for the day.  They wore a Victory Day jersey or held cheer pom poms and lined up on the 50 yard line with their mentor.  Each child was introduced as they ran through a tunnel to a rousing introduction from the public address system and the band. Parents were everywhere taking pictures as they ran through the tunnel.  

A mock defense was set up by the Dragons' football team.  Each child had an opportunity to run for a touchdown.  After the game, each child was presented with a medal to commemorate their victory.

Victory Day was started in 2010 by Trenton (Michigan) teacher and varsity football defensive coordinator Aaron Segedi.  Aaron, a native of Riverview, Michigan was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. After beating cancer numerous times, Segedi pledged to make our community and the world we all live in a brighter place. And that is exactly how Victory Day came to be.

As a football coach, Segedi developed a character manual that is used as a teaching tool for varsity football players at Trenton High School.  The manual requires players to self-reflect and study various virtues with the intent of helping them develop into men of character.  One of the virtues is selflessness.  This particular unit encouraged Aaron to teach the players the importance of servant leadership.  Victory Day was developed as a vehicle to teach this virtue, as well as a way to give back to the community.