DENVER (CBS4) – Broncos offensive guard Dalton Risner is used to using his skills on the field, but he recently helped dozens of aspiring young football players refine theirs as well. And it led to a big moment for a young Coloradan over the weekend.
Dalton put on a free camp over the summer through the A Precious Child, the Broomfield nonprofit which empowers low-income families across the Denver metro area through a variety of programs.
“I’ve always wanted to have a football camp. It’s always been a dream of mine,” explained Dalton, whose reason for hosting the camp was personal. “A lot of families don’t have the money to go to football camp and I didn’t have that opportunity either.”
Dalton immediately noticed a standout player.
“He was just good to people, had a big smile on. He was just a stud in the drills and his name was Jaidden.”
12-year-old Jaidden Greene almost didn’t make it to camp that day, as his family had recently suffered a massive loss.
“My husband died about seven months ago. It was due to suicide,” his mother, Monica, told CBS4’s Mekialaya White. “We took it very hard. And we did the camp maybe a month afterwards.”
Monica encouraged Jaidden to go — hopeful it would lift his spirits amid their grief. Little did she know just how much it would. At the end of the camp, Dalton gave Jaidden a sportsmanship award. He also extended an invitation.
“He asked us if we wanted to do dinner and I was really blown away,” said Jaidden. “I was pretty happy and was like, it would be cool to have dinner with a football player because not many people do that.”
He picked his favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse.
“Jaidden got himself a huge steak. His whole family came. His grandparents, his brothers and sisters and mom,” said Dalton with a smile. During that meal, he found out the tough times that Jaidden had been facing.
Little did Jaidden know Dalton would have yet another offer.
“I said hey, if you get really good grades this year, then I’ll take you to a football game,” Dalton said.
Fast forward a few months. Jaidden worked hard on his grades, and Dalton followed through on his promise. On Sunday, he and Monica enjoyed their first NFL game together, watching the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions game from the sidelines.
“It’s just amazing for him to actually take his time out, same with A Precious Child. You never know what people are going through. Dalton always checked in on us,” said Monica. “Having a support system helps us a lot. We were able to stay distracted in a good way and it warms our hearts. We love him.”
“He doesn’t care if he goes down as the best player. He cares that he’s kind,” Jaidden said. The pair was grateful, to say the least.
“I’ve already won. I don’t need a thank you, I don’t need a big miraculous story. As long as I make him smile, that’s what it’s all about,” said Dalton.