2021 was a difficult year for Audrey Soape. The sudden death of her father in March and the subsequent death five weeks later of her grandfather left Audrey Soape, 11, with a lot of grief.
Holly Soape was the mother of Holly Soape. Holly knew Holly could help her feel better and came up with an idea.
Ahead of their church’s daddy-daughter dance in January, Holly reached out to Philadelphia Eagles safety Anthony Harris via social media and asked if he could be Audrey’s date to the event.
It was a huge task, she knew. To her surprise, the athlete answered and said he would!
Harris, 30, wore a black suit and matching shoes to the dance, as per his promise. Holly asked him in particular because he was Audrey’s favorite football player.
Harris was a long-time favorite of the Harris family, dating back to his time with the Minnesota Vikings. They would often reach out via social media to pray for Harris.
“[I was] just trying to be a human,” Harris told NBC 10 about his kind act. “Trying to take off the helmet, trying to take off the cape of what I do professionally and just show some sympathy for that family and try to show some support there.”
At first, the NFL star wasn’t sure if his schedule would allow him to attend. But, after the Eagles lost to Tampa Bay Buccanneers in week one of the playoffs’ first round, he was able to bring Audrey along.
“I told him about the situation, and surprisingly he was more than willing to do it,” Holly said. “It happened really fast. He said yes probably about a week before, so it was kind of a whirlwind.”
Harris joined the Eagles last season and did more than just fly in to show up. He also paid for Audrey’s dress, hair, shoes, and makeup!
“He had a car with a driver, come to the house and pick her up,” Holly said. “He really wanted to make sure she had the best possible time.”
Needless to say, Audrey felt like a princess all night—which is exactly what Harris was going for.
Audrey appreciates Harris’s flexibility in allowing her to be with him, knowing how busy an athlete can get.
“A normal player would probably be like “I don’t have time for this. I have to be focused for next season or the playoffs,”‘ Audrey said. “But he took time out of his schedule to take me, so that was pretty special.”
It’s natural to feel shy around your idols, and Audrey was no exception.
“I was very nervous because I didn’t know what I was going to say,” she recalled. “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.”
Harris broke the ice by asking Audrey questions about her day, and then talking about football.
Holly is so happy to have this once-in a lifetime experience for her daughter.
“I was so anxious and excited for her because she just had the most terrible year,” she said. “For someone to show up and to teach her that people do show up for you, it’s just been beyond a blessing.”
Harris is also grateful to have had the opportunity to make Audrey’s night extra special.
“You gotta cherish these moments. You never know how long we have here on this Earth,” he told CBS Philly. “So, the people that you care about and you love, show support for them.”
Harris met Jackson, her brother, and danced with Audrey.
“It made me feel really happy and feel special because he didn’t only come over just to go to the ‘Daddy-Daughter Dance’ with Audrey, he came over to see me, too,” he said.
What about his dance moves? It turns out that Audrey approved of his dance moves.
“They were very good,” she said with a laugh.
This is indeed a dream come true for the young lady! This story is detailed in the video below.
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