Cubs fan with Down syndrome raising money to sing national anthem at Wrigley Field

By Michael Dixon

Stefan Xidas, who has Down syndrome, is a fan of the Chicago Cubs. He’s working to make one of his dreams, singing the national anthem at Wrigley Field, a reality.

Xidas started a GoFundMe page, detailing his goal. There, he made an offer to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts

“I’d like to make a deal with Tom Ricketts, the owner of the Chicago Cubs. If I’m able to raise $5,000 for the Special Olympics Organization, Tom Ricketts will let me sing the National Anthem at a Cubs game,” Xidas wrote on the page.

He also noted that even if the national anthem can’t happen, the money will be donated to the Special Olympics.

Ricketts has yet to respond to the offer, but the Cubs have issued a statement.

“We are aware and currently exploring how we can help support Stefan’s effort to raise additional funds for Special Olympics,” spokesman Julian Green said, per Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune. “As a long-time partner of Special Olympics, we couldn’t be happier with the outpouring of support and are amazed with what Stefan has accomplished in such a short time. It deserves to be recognized.”

Thompson also noted that the Star-Spangled Banner is not new to Xidas. He performs the song annually at the Nielsen USTA Pro Tennis Championship and has also sung it at a Chicago White Sox game.

Xidas clearly underestimated his own fundraising abilities. At the time of this writing, he’d raised more than $9,800, nearly twice his original goal.