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Father-daughter dances are special occasions that lots of young girls eagerly look forward to. And many go on to look back on those nights with cherished memories as they grow older. But for 11-year-old Audrey Soape, who unexpectedly lost both her father and grandfather in 2021, tragedy had soured what would normally be a lovely evening. Nevertheless, when her church announced the upcoming event, the grieving tween’s mom Holly Soape took matters into her own hands. She was determined to find a way her daughter could still attend the dance and have a wonderful time in spite of the heartbreak of losing her father.
The Texas mom took a leap a leap of faith and reached out to Audrey’s favorite football player, Philadelphia Eagles free safety Anthony Harris, to see if he would escort her daughter to the daddy-daughter dance. And, to her surprise, the famous NFL football player said yes. “I just asked if he would be willing to come,” Soape explains. “And he said, ‘Not only will I come, but I want to make sure she feels like a princess.’”
Now that it’s all said and done, there’s absolutely no doubt that the kind-hearted athlete did just that. In addition to flying into town to be Audrey’s date for the evening, Harris also arranged a professional stylist to do her hair and makeup, scheduled a car to drive her to the appointments, and even made sure she got the dress of her dreams. Finally, when the time came, he arrived on her doorstep with a corsage in hand to escort the 11-year-old to the father-daughter dance.
The Soapes were absolutely touched by the NFL player’s selfless gesture, especially after such a tough year. And to make the night that much more special, Harris even took the time to meet Audrey’s younger brother, too. Still, like any other preteen, the young girl admitted that although she was excited, she was also a bit anxious to have such a famous date. “I was very nervous because I didn’t know what I was going to say,” Audrey shared when asked about the evening. “At first it was kind of awkward because we weren’t talking yet…But then he kind of came up and started talking to me.”
Since the news of Harris’ generosity got out, the story has gone viral all over the internet. But rather than soaking in all the praise, the star athlete has remained humble, saying that he was “just trying to be a human” and show some support for their family during this difficult time. “You gotta cherish these moments,” Harris adds. “You never know how long we have here on this Earth. So, the people that you care about, and you love, show support for them.”
For Audrey and her family, the compassion and support Harris showed them without even really knowing them truly meant the world. And in the end, he gave them a night they’ll never forget. “We would all do anything for our kids when we see them suffering,” says Soape. “To know that there are people out there who will be there for your kids and for you, it’s really encouraging. And it sort of turned this horrible tragedy into this triumphant moment.”
Philadelphia Eagles free safety Anthony Harris escorted an 11-year-old girl to her father-daughter dance after she unexpectedly lost both her father and grandfather.
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Watch this video to learn more about the NFL football player's touching act of kindness.
AMERICA STRONG: Philadelphia Eagles free safety, Anthony Harris, stepped up to make an 11-year-old girl’s dream come true by taking her to her school’s daddy-daughter dance after she lost both her father and grandfather last year. @LinseyDavis reports. https://t.co/6LDqzQboha pic.twitter.com/u1NnPsiMV3
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) February 7, 2022