As the winner, Gavin rode on the BCBS float in the America’s Thanksgiving Parade, received a police escort from the parade to Ford Field, and got to hang out on the field prior to game time where he met his favorite player, quarterback Matthew Stafford and got his jersey autographed.
A locker with Gavin’s name on it was filled with Detroit Lions souvenirs, including a replica game ball bearing his name. He ran a game ball out through the tunnel, past all of the cheerleaders, to the referees.
“I got to meet a lot of former players and get their autographs,” Gavin said. “I was so excited. I met Tim Allen, too, the ‘Santa Clause’ dude.”
Gavin said the best part was getting his jersey signed by Stafford.
“I couldn’t believe it. He met me out at the 50-yard line and signed it and then talked to me.”
Gavin stood next to Aretha Franklin as she sang the national anthem, and he had VIP seating for himself and family members during the game. At half-time, the family was moved to a suite where a private catered Thanksgiving meal was served.
“I think he was kind of in shock the whole time,” said Gavin’s dad, Jason DeVore. “It was just the neatest experience. Everybody, from the Lions organization to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, just went way out of their way to make it a really great day.”
Jason DeVore said the day started with a VIP parade breakfast where he and Gavin were sitting next to three Olympic stars, Miss Michigan and the runner-up and Miss Teen Michigan.
“And then there was us,” he said.
Even though Gavin may have been in shock, the Lions organization made sure he won’t forget the experience. Gavin was hooked up with a microphone for the day, and a photographer took pictures all day as well as video of the entire experience.
“Everyone was just awesome and amazing. I never imagined it was going to be like that. It was a super experience,” Jason DeVore said.
“The #MIKidsCan Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes is a fun and engaging way for Blue Cross and the Lions to highlight children’s health and encourage kids to get active,” said Andrew Hetzel, vice president of corporate communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
The VIP sweepstakes supports Blue Cross’ ongoing commitment to children’s health through its #MIKidsCan campaign and partnership with the Detroit Lions’ Play 60 program — initiatives focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits and get active for at least 60 minutes every day.
Gavin and his dad are already diehard Lions fans, and getting an experience like this only adds to their commitment.
Gavin said the jersey signed by Stafford is going to get framed and hung in his bedroom, next to many of the other souvenirs he received.
And the icing on the cake for the day: The Lions won, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 16-13 on a last-second field goal.
“There isn’t anything that could top this day,” Gavin said. “It was perfect.”