Using colored balls to pick their favorites, the mammals indicated a strong preference to San Diego State putting the smack down on Iowa State. Dick Vitale wanted in on the action for the Allstate March Mayhem Challenge. If he beats the dolphins, he gets a lifetime membership to the Georgia Aquarium. If he loses, he becomes their servant. All State is wagering a hefty donation to the aquarium.
In other dolphin news, a new group of hopeful parents and excited children arrive at Island Dolphin Care, a nonprofit organization in in Key Largo, Fla., each Monday morning from March through the end of the summer.
The program was started over 20 years ago by Deena Hoagland. Deena's 3-year-old son, Joe, was paralyzed on his left side after a stroke. When he wasn't responding to traditional treatments, his mother, a social worker, therapist and teacher, decided to take matters into her own hands. She started calling places with a pool because her instincts told her water would be beneficial.
A "swim with the dolphins” tourist attraction in Key Largo agreed to let her use their pool. She watched in amazement as Joe began to bloom while interacting with a dolphin there on their very first visit.
Joe made a remarkable recovery with the help of his dolphin friend, Fonzie, and Deena was inspired to create a facility to bring the same magic to other children. Island Dolphin Care has been working with children with a wide range of physical, emotional and neurological disabilities since 1990. They also work with adults, including veterans with PTSD.
Read more about the family and the creation of the program in Deena's book "Breaths that Count."