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96-year-old lifelong Indians fan has bucket list wish to attend home game fulfilled

96-year-old lifelong Indians fan has bucket list wish to attend home game fulfilled
Posted at 10:22 PM, Sep 25, 2021

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a slightly longer video than aired originally on television.

This is the last weekend that Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will play as the Cleveland Indians.

Seeing the team play under the name one last time at home was on the bucket list of a 96-year-old woman from Lakewood, who is a life-long Indians fan.

Saturday, she was able to cross that item off.

“I can’t wait until I get upstairs in my wheelchair and sit there!” said Vernice Evancho.

Evancho considers herself a member of the Tribe.

“She loves the Indians, she loves them. Her and my dad have watched them forever,” said Charlotte Evancho, Vernice’s daughter.

So in turn, the entire Evancho family became members of the Tribe. Its stayed that way for generations, even after Mike Evancho, Vernice’s husband, died in 1997.

Saturday, the family made the trip Downtown for one of the team’s last games as the Indians.

Vernice is not a fan of the upcoming name change, so it was on her bucket list to see them at home one more time before that happens.

“I wanted to bring her down here to get her pictures taken, and we told a couple people about it, and they went and they really surprised us, gave us the shocker of our lives,” said Charlotte Evancho.

Vernice has dementia. Charlotte cares for her full-time with help from the palliative care services team at the Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Vernice’s social worker heard about the bucket list and referred her to the agency’s wish "Moments to Remember" program which focuses on enhancing the quality of life for hospice patients by giving them the opportunity to see a special request or wish come true.

They made Vernice’s wish come true in just about a week’s time.

“Well, I'm not gonna lie, I thought they were joking. And they said, ‘No, this is it!’” said Charlotte Evancho.

The agency didn’t just come through with tickets; an anonymous donor hooked up the entire Evancho family with a suite right behind home plate.

“Oh they’re winning tonight, I know it! My feet are getting hot!” said Vernice Evancho.

Vernice’s daughter, grandchildren, and one of her great-grandchildren joined her in the suite. The gift is just what they all needed after a tough year.

“I had some heart surgery done. And we’ve had some family issues, my son was diagnosed with some cancer and he's done. He's good,” said Charlotte Evancho.

All of that has made them all realize even more just how important family is and want to cherish theirs now more than ever.

“Every family has issues. But it's great to be able to pull the families together and do things you know. And this is a blessing, and it's fantastic,” said Charlotte Evancho.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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