While Chase Garofolo was named after Chase Utley nine years ago, he’s more of a Carson Wentz guy.
Every Christmas, the boy and his mother, Amanda Wallace, used to donate money to the American Foundation for Suicide. Seven years ago, Wallace’s mother had taken her own life.
But earlier this holiday season, after watching the surprising start to the Eagles’ season, and Wentz’s connection with young children in need, mother and son chose to give the money to the quarterback’s AO1 Foundation.
“We just thought he was a stand-up guy,” Wallace said, “and somebody who has the potential to make a positive impact on younger kids, like my son.”
Chase, who lives with his mom in Chalfont and attends third grade at Philadelphia Academy Charter, had cried watching the ESPN documentary about Wentz’s relationship with an 8-year-old Delaware boy who died from cancer earlier this year.
“Kids see stuff like that, and they want to be like him,” Wallace added.
The night before the Eagles played the Rams, mother and son had planned to keep with tradition and assemble holiday gingerbread houses. In honor of Wentz’s success, Chase decided to also make a special gingerbread man in the image of the Eagles’ No. 11.
And then the cookie crumbled.
When Wentz suffered a season-ending knee injury, Chase took his hero’s fall hard. Wallace was worried.
But the next night, Wallace came home from work to find the boy gluing shish-kebab sticks and marshmallows onto the gingerbread man.
“His crutches,” Chase explained.
And, he announced, he’d written his big Christmas wish in a letter, and dropped it into his Elf on the Shelf for Santa Claus.
“Dear, santa get carson better!!!”
A day later came a response, sagely written in red ink.
“Have faith in Foles!”