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A Philly hero's dream comes true

Remember Brandon Burwell – the former Center City Wawa associate who lost his job shortly after decking a would-be robber? Well, many of you opened your wallets, your season ticket coffers, and your hearts to help out this brave young man.

Well, today, his dream came true. Thanks to the Philadelphia Flyers, Burwell and his father, Kim Burwell, met the team during practice today, and he shared a few moments with his favorite player, winger Wayne Simmonds.

"We know how big of a fan he [Burwell] is, and we wanted to help lift his spirits a little bit," said Ike Richman, vice president of public relations at Comcast-Spectacor. In a telephone interview with me today, Richman added, "Maybe this can give him a little hope and inspiration and pick up his spirits during this holiday season. Kids have to aspire and try to live their dream. If he becomes a role model and inspires others, that is great."

Kim Burwell, who took the photo of his son and Simmonds, was grateful for the outpouring of kindness and love shown by others for Brandon. "I am very, very happy for what has been done, and I appreciate what you have done for him. A smile was on his face, and he really feels good. I couldn't be more thankful."

As for Brandon. Well, his photo with Simmonds is now his Facebook profile picture, and he was on cloud nine when I spoke with him. "It was unbelievable. He's [Simmonds] just as cool as I thought he would be up close."

As for how Brandon's dealing with his newfound celebrity status? "I get recognized from people at work. It's definitely different, and that's a positive kind of difference."

Just days before Christmas, so many of you deserve my thanks for making this young man's dream come true. Thank you for making a difference in his life.