Olivia Harlan and Sam Dekker turn wedding day into a day of giving

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 17:30:14-04

You've seen Olivia Harlan reporting on the sidelines.  You've seen Sam Dekker making plays on the court.

In a few weeks, this sports power couple will be saying "I do." 

"We met the old fashion way," said Olivia Harlan, sideline reporter and soon to be wife. "A friend introduced us. It was love at first sight. Our first date was going to a dive bar and watching a Packers game in Houston."

"When that weekend was over, when we had to go our separate ways, I told my friend that's the girl I'm going to marry,"  said Sam Dekker, LA Clippers small forward and soon to be husband. "At the time he didn't believe me but here we are about to get married and doing some good things."

Those good things include turning their special day into a fundraiser for Children's Cancer Family Foundation of Northeast Wisconsin.

"It's the most important day in our lives, but to have it impact others is pretty big," said Olivia. 

"When we asked our parents and our wedding guest they were all for it. Then we pitched it out to the community and they've already raised $15,000 dollars and we want to keep that growing," said Sam.

To understand the passion these two truly have for this cause, you'll have to go back a few years. 

"Four or five years ago we did a Strike Out Cancer event with the Timber Rattlers and the tickets sold during that game, some of the proceeds went to these families. I got a chance to meet a bunch of families, a bunch of kids, " said Dekker.

"There was the one little boy that Sam met, named Kyle. He passed, he didn't make it to the next year's event and he asked to be buried with a shirt that Sam had signed for him. We kind of looked at each other and said we need to do more," said Harlan.

More is exactly what Sam and Olivia have done, now working year-round with the foundation. Olivia, even becoming an active member of the CCFF board. 

For Sam, it's just more proof he has the ultimate teammate to help him say thank you to those who have helped his career mean something. 

"You know without them, we don't have anything. We have nothing to entertain, our jobs don't mean really anything. So, to turn around and say thank you for the impact that they've had in my life. Let's see if I can go and impact their life that's very important for us to do as not only athletes but as people," said Dekker.

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