Heyward gives back, brings smiles

Think about being a kid. The excitement of your birthday approaching. A chance to celebrate your big day with family and friends, laughing and having fun. And of course, getting some cool gifts.

The harsh reality, though, is many kids don’t get to enjoy that luxury.

And that’s where Cameron Heyward comes in.

Heyward understands how special a birthday is for a kid, so he turned his own birthday into a celebration for others.

Heyward, who turned 30 on May 6, hosted the fifth annual “Heyward House Birthday Bash” for kids who normally don’t get to enjoy their special day the way most do.

Cameron Heyward celebrated his birthday with kids from the Boys and Girls Club at Dave and Busters

Heyward hosted kids from the Boys & Girls Club at Dave & Busters at the Waterfront for fun, games, in an afternoon that was filled with smiles and laughs.

“My dad grew up in the system of the Boys & Girls Club,” said Heyward of his late father, Craig Heyward. “I want to celebrate them, celebrate the kids, let them know people care about them, and have some fun with them. Everyone always appreciates it.

“The kids look forward to just having a good time. It’s not always like that for them. Sometimes, because of their backgrounds, they have to grow up so fast. We have to let them know that it’s okay to be a kid. It’s okay to develop relationships along the way, which we have accomplished in years past. I love having fun at this.”

The kids enjoyed a dinner filled with all their favorites, and of course birthday cake from GiGi’s Cupcakes topped it all off.

And what would a party be without games. The kids hit the Dave & Busters’ arcade with Heyward and more than 20 of his teammates, where having fun was definitely the best item on the menu. And being a kid, which Heyward knows these kids need to do more often, was definitely ordered up for everyone.

“You have to understand you can be a role model no matter where you come from,” said Heyward. “People are watching. As these kids mature and have fun, other kids see what they are doing. That is the great thing about the Boys and Girls Club, you get a range of ages and kids looking up to each other. Their stories are amazing. If you can break down their shell a little bit they become yokes where they let everything out. I just want to give them that opportunity.”

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