Last August a 103-year-old woman in Boca Raton named Thelma Hark was extra grateful after her home was restored following a fire. The first thing she was worried about the night of the fire was not being able to watch her favorite team, the Miami Heat, play.
Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR Property Restoration, whose team assisted in restoring Thelma’s home after the fire was so moved by Hark’s optimism that he promised he would take her to a Miami Heat game. On March 4th of 2023, he planned on doing just that.
The biggest fan was set to be honored during the pregame ceremony this past Saturday in Miami’s win vs the Atlanta Hawks. However, Thelma was feeling a bit under the weather and wasn’t able to attend last minute. She is optimistic that she will be feeling better for another future game inside Miami-Dade Arena before this season ends.
Thelma has been a loyal Miami Heat fan ever since the franchise was originally founded. Her favorite player of all-time is Alonzo Mourning, one of the most iconic and best rebounders this organization has ever had. Mourning was a 7X All-Star, 2X block champ, 2X All-NBA, 2X All-Defensive and most importantly, a 2006 NBA champion with the Heat. He now represents Miami in the front office and makes his presence still known in the state of Florida and for the team.
However, to help capture the background story more in-depth on why Sheldon Yellen and Alonzo Mourning both care deeply for the oldest and biggest fan of the Miami Heat, check out this episode from ABC’s Hearts of Heroes show. This was when her home was restored and the two men went to visit where they promised Thelma a seat to one of the upcoming Heat home games.
This woman has been here through it all as a proud Miami Heat fan. From the early Alonzo and Tim Hardaway days, to a young Dwyane Wade and Shaq days, to the big three of Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, all the way to the Jimmy Butler era. Don’t forget all the seasons in between.. it didn’t matter if this team were NBA champions, playoff contenders, average, or straight up lottery teams, Thelma showed support no matter what circumstances arrived.
Thelma is grateful just to be here after going through some unfortunate situations her whole life, including the home restoration from that fire. For Alonzo Mourning to go out of his way to speak to a fan like this is a dream come true, and her invitation to a game was the cherry on top. This Heat fan takes the term “Heat Lifer” to a whole different level! To support one single sports team for an entire lifespan is impressive and just exemplifies what loyalty as a fan of professional sports really is.
Check out some pictures that were taken the day Sheldon, Mourning and others arrived at Thelma’s house!