Thomas Davis makes 7-year-old boy's dream come true


Tuesday, March 7th 2017, 5:45 pm EST

By WBTV Web Staff

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A 7-year-old boy in Cabarrus County is recovering from the surprise of his life.

Jonathan Rogers lives with autism. He faces lots of obstacles. Carolina Panthers captain and linebacker Thomas Davis made his dream come true Monday after surprising him at Harrisburg Elementary in a school assembly.

“I can’t wait to share my world with Jonathan,” Thomas Davis said. “I want to show him what it’s like in the day in the life of Thomas Davis.”

MOBILE USERS: Click here to see photos from the surprise and visit with Thomas Davis

The entire dream is courtesy of Charlotte-based charity, Dream On 3. They make dreams come true for kids facing uphill medical battles. They often support and lift up #MollysKids, children anchor Molly Grantham follows.

They asked Molly to come to the assembly to introduce the Panthers superstar.

Inside the assembly, no child knows who is really there. No one knows Davis is behind the curtain. No one knows he is there to surprise Jonathan, who is in the 3rd grade at the school.

You have to watch the video to see the reaction.

Afterward, Davis whisks Jonathan to Panthers Bank of America stadium for a tour of the weight room and locker room.

Then Davis takes Jonathan – and his parents – to his house to shoot hoops, play video games and shoot pool. An entire afternoon and night to hang out.

"Being in the position we're in as professional athletes, I feel like it's our duty and our job to reach back and interact with the community,” Davis said. “Days like today put everything really into perspective for me."

Charlotte Business Journal Covers Thomas Davis' Annual Back Pack Drive Serving 650+ Students

Thomas Davis, Panthers teammates surprise Charlotte students (PHOTOS)

byJen Wilson, Sept. 6, 2016

Students at a poverty-stricken Charlotte school got a surprise visit on Friday from Thomas Davis and other players with the Carolina Panthers.

Davis, through his Defending Dreams Foundation, worked with Classroom Central to hand out backpacks loaded with school supplies to kids at Devonshire Elementary School. He was joined by teammates including Luke KuechlyGreg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart as well as mascot Sir Purr and a couple of TopCats cheerleaders.

View the slide show.

“Real Housewives’ ” Derek J in the Queen City to Judge Hair Battle

$4,000 Grand Prize to the Best Stylist in the Southeast Hosted in Charlotte

Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Fashion Queens” star, Derek J, drops his peach for a crown on July 30 as he comes to the Queen City to judge the Southeast’s top hair stylist in a battle made for television. There’s a $4,000 grand prize on the line as stylists use precision, vision and style to bring fierce hair creations to life at the Omni Hotel in Uptown Charlotte on July 30 for the Queen City Hair Battle slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.

Stylists from Charlotte, Fayetteville, Albermarle and Virginia will compete in the show, hosted by Larry’s Salon Suites, which will feature avant-garde, fantasy and classic hair looks while bridging fashion with entertainment through a show stopping performance. Grand Hustle recording artist, Ricco Barrino, will sing his hit sing, “California,” along with other favorites.

Nationally recognized hair aficionados will judge alongside Derek J. These judges will include Arya Varji, senior stylist of the nationally recognized Heirloom Salon in Charlotte; Jey Ramone, national educator for P&G Wella Professional; Tiffany Poles, “The Celebrity Braider,” from Typh’s Braids Studio and Shauna Robinson, expert weaver and owner of Salon Cheveux Int’l. 

Larry’s Salon Suites will donate proceeds from this event to benefit local charities, including STW Advocacy for At-Risk Youth who empowers youth through scholarships and Market Your Mind, Not Your Body, which supports human trafficking victims.

Precious Paris from “Love and Hip Hop New York” will debut her new clothing line, Diana Boss, in our vendor market while Power 98’s Nolimit Larry will host the battle. There will also be four chances to win an all-inclusive Bahamas cruise during the show!

The Queen City Hair Battle is sure to showcase the very best talent as well as the fantastic fashion and style culture in the city. Tickets are available, click here to purchase.

#WBTVandMe Super Bowl Commercial with Thomas Davis Youth Academy

Behind the Scenes: A look at the making of WBTV's Super Bowl Ad

By: WBTV Web Staff

Posted: 02/07/2016 8:09 PM

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Big brands pay millions for a few seconds in the Super Bowl, and local television stations also get a few select spots to sell that can make or break an annual budget.  So, when you see a local news commercial during the Super Bowl, it’s no small investment.

The pressure is on to create something that holds its own against Clydesdales, celebrities and, this year, slow-motion weiner dogs.  The world’s top advertising agencies show off their best work and, with the Carolina Panthers in this year’s game, approximately 1.8 million people in the WBTV viewing area will tune in.

Our spot, “#WBTVandMe,” started taking shape back in mid-December when Bella Boca PR responded to our request with, “Sounds like a great idea.”  We were hoping their client, 2015 NFL Man of the Year Thomas Davis, would be interested in appearing in our spot.  Thankfully, he was.

The spot features Davis’  Defending Dreams Foundation Youth Leadership Academy along with local first responders, volunteers and others.  Thanks to suggestions from WBTV employees, we worked with Fort Mill Police Department, Tega Cay Fire Department, Catawba County EMS, Hickory Police & Fire Departments, Second Harvest Food Bank, AAU Youth Basketball and added clips from WBTV News & First Alert Weather coverage. One of the opening scenes was also made possible by the generous cooperation of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

It was important for the community to be prominent in this spot because the idea is about teamwork.  We’re so thankful to Thomas Davis and his entire organization for their participation.  We also thank everyone at the station and in the community who helped us with the spot, especially those who many have ended up on the cutting room floor because we simply had too many options to fit into thirty seconds.  

Finally, thank YOU for watching, clicking and sharing the stories we work so hard to share every day.

Watch commercial.

Winston-Salem State University Offers Program to Help Students Find Jobs

Time Warner Cable News By Elyse Mickalonis

WINSTON SALEM – It's something students say needs to be taught.

"I've always sat through workshops on resumes and how to interview, but I was never taught what to do once I accept the job," said Gerrell Wheeler, WSSU Junior.

This week, Winston-Salem State University held a career prep program called GoHire. While it focuses on teaching students soft skills like workplace behavior, as well as how to leave a job and navigate counter proposals, it also has a higher goal -- to eliminate a big diversity gap in corporate America.

"I thought to create a platform in which underrepresented populations, meaning women and minority students, could get a fair shake at competing for opportunities and presenting themselves in the best possible light,' said Tasha Burks, GoHire Recruiting Program Founder.

That work is needed. According to Fortune Magazine, as of this month, there will only be 21 female CEOs running Fortune 500 companies and back in February of 2014, just over four percent of Fortune 500 CEOs at that time were minorities.

Students say they've gotten a lot out of the program, including how to be accepting of others.

"There's going to be a lot of different races and sexual orientations," said Gerrell Wheeler, a WSSU junior. "I have to still be professional and be open to those things. I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable."

Last year, Burks says 86 percent of GoHire's students ended up with full time jobs before they graduated or within a week after graduating, whereas the national average was about 17 percent. 

Watch the story.

Byron "Whizzer" White Award Given to Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation

By Danny WebsterFeatured Columnist, Bleacher Report

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was named the winner of the Byron "Whizzer" White Award on Thursday, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today.   

The NFL Players Association's website notes that the award, named after the former NFL player and Supreme Court justice, is the "highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player" for work in the community.

The NFLPA has handed out the Byron “Whizzer” White Award each year since Super Bowl I, when Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr was its first recipient. Each team nominated one player for the award, and past winners include Steve McNair and Nnamdi Asomugha.

Davis will receive a $100,000 donation to his foundation.

This award for Davis is another one in the long line of trophies he's earned for his work as an ambassador in the NFL. The Carolina captain was also the recipient of the Bart Starr Award on Jan. 6 and was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2015 after being a finalist the previous two years.

Davis' work on the field is unparalleled to the work he does in his community. He, along with the Second Harvest Food Bank, prepared 2,000 meal bags for at least 8,000 people this past Thanksgiving. This is a well-deserved award for Davis, who can add the title of "Super Bowl champion" to his illustrious resume with a win on Sunday.