It is many kids’ dream to catch a professional sporting event in a VIP suite. This past November, such dreams came true for a handful of Special Olympic Texas athletes and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston pairs. They were given the opportunity to watch several Houston Rockets basketball games from Steve and Amber Mostyn’s Houston Toyota Center suite.
“The kids get so pumped up,” said Monte Osburn, executive director of the Glenda Jean Mostyn and Joe E. Moreno Educational Foundation. “If they’ve ever gone to a basketball game – and most of them have not – the fact that they’re in one of the luxury seats and able to eat, drink, and watch the game is mind-blowing.”
The suite has a unique advantage: For some children with autism or other disabilities, a large public event can be a trying experience. With the suite, as Osburn points out, those who get over stimulated can retreat to an enclosed lounge, away from the noise and lights. You also don’t have to leave for food, keeping the kids from getting jostled at overcrowded concession stands.
“Seeing the big smiles on these kids’ faces, as well as the faces of the adults who dedicate their free time to these amazing organizations, tells me we’re doing the right thing with these tickets,” said Steve Mostyn.
The Mostyns’ desire to help is not only motivated by smiles. Both Steve and Amber grew up with mothers who were passionate about helping those with special needs and serving as role models for every student. Steve Mostyn’s mother Glenda Jean Mostyn, namesake of Mostyn Moreno, was a special education aide at Saint Louis School in Tyler, Texas, and Christi Stanley, Amber Mostyn’s mother, worked early in her career at the Fort Worth State School, a now-shuttered institution for people with cognitive disabilities.
“The programs put on by both Special Olympics Texas and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston connect so well with the goals of the Mostyn Moreno Foundation, and we wanted to support them in any way we could,” said Osburn. “I can’t think of a better way to honor both Jean and Christi’s generous spirits and admirable work.”