Nightly News | April 02, 2011
>>> we leave you tonight with the story of a small town that's seen some pretty tough times, but still found reason to make one family's dreams come true on this special night, when the final four take the court. our report from nbc's janet shamlian .
>> reporter: stan howard isn't a rich man, unless you count his wealth in friends.
>> i don't really consider myself anything but a mailman. that's all i am.
>> reporter: the father of ten has delivered mail for years in this small indiana town. it came as a surprise when residents started making deliveries of their own to him.
>> he sid, give that to you and use it for whatever.
>> reporter: his son matt is the star forward for the butler bulldogs and a hometown hero in connellsville. when butler made the final four, the howards weren't sure they could afford the trip and never considered asking for help in a tourn that itself is struggling.
>> how do you like my flag.
>> reporter: matt howard brought back that smile. can you see it all over. connersville decided his family had to see him play. a rally had neighbors opening their hearts and wallets. a dime here a dollar there.
>> we've had to empty that money box down there twice a day.
>> reporter: the full court press was enough to raise thousands and get the entire family to the game.
>> i feel like i shouldn't be here and i'm going to wake up and find myself back at home. that's really how i'm feeling. but some day i'll look back on this and think, wow, look at what happened.
>> they are watching matt courtside, knowing connersville is watching too.
>> it's beyond money, it's beyond words , it's just a priceless experience, and we want to take it all in, be a part and enjoy it with him.
>> reporter: a hard luck town comes through with an assist to help deliver on a dream. janet shamlian , nbc news, atlanta.