Student Anonymously Gifted Tickets to Super Bowl LII
As if being invited to spend a weekend as an honorary equipment manager for the Philadelphia Eagles in November wasn’t thrilling enough, Bunker Hill Middle School (Washington Twp) eighth-grader Cole Fitzgerald received the thrill of a lifetime on January 29th, from the most unlikeliest source – a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
A package arrived for Cole -who was not expected to survive birth, beat neuroblastoma as a toddler and who continues to struggle with a muscle disorder – with an anonymous letter from a Vikings’ fan who had won two Super Bowl tickets through a local charity called Spare Key. The fan explained he had told his wife and kids that if the Vikings didn’t win, he was going to give the tickets to someone who could really appreciate seeing their team play in the Super Bowl. The caveat was that the person couldn’t be a Patriots’ fan.
The fan went on to explain that he was so discouraged by how badly the Eagles were beating his Vikings that he spent the second half of the game on his computer, looking for someone who could really appreciate the tickets.
“I came across your story,” the letter read. “First, I saw the post by your mom on Alexslemonade.com from a few years ago. Then I saw the piece about your role as equipment manager with your high school team. Then the spot about how the Eagles brought you in for a day in November. It was all so very cool, and I realized it was destiny, just not my destiny. You were the one meant to get these tickets all along.”
Recognizing that his dream of playing the NFL was unlikely, Cole followed his father’s advice to find another path into the league. This conversation led to the creation of an equipment manager position for Cole by Washington Township Youth Football, a gesture that garnered television coverage in the fall. Cole then wrote a letter to Philadelphia Eagles equipment manager Greg Delimitros, who was inspired by his story and invited him to help out for the weekend. This created more media buzz. The Vikings’ fan’s research continued that chain reaction of good fortune. Fitzgerald was profiled for a third time on CBS3 when he was surprised with the Super Bowl tickets.
This local media attention has parlayed into exposure in Minneapolis as Cole’s story was featured in the January 30th edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (http://m.startribune.com/anonymous-vikings-fan-donates-super-bowl-tickets-to-young-eagles-fan/471701384/ and members of the Minnesota media have reached out to Keren Fitzgerald asking for interviews with her son when he and his father, Bill, land in the Twin Cities. “Your dad is right,” the letter continued. “Follow your dreams. The path and the role may be different than you first envision, but I fully expect to see you in the NFL someday and look forward to hearing the rest of your story. I hope you guys enjoy this weekend and the game, and….for this one game….Go EAGLES!” News of Cole’s anonymous gift spread quickly throughout his school and community.
“This is so awesome,” said teacher Donna Flood, one of many BHMS staff members who reacted with exuberance to the story. “Cole is the epitome of all that is good, strong and true. That Vikings’ fan is truly a good soul. I love when good finds good. Makes the world a better place.” Cole and Bill Fitzgerald will be heading to Minneapolis on Friday courtesy of Delta Airlines. Go Cole! Go Birds!
Pictured: Bunker Hill Middle School eighth-grader Cole Fitzgerald is pictured with the tickets to Super Bowl LII that were anonymously gifted to him by a Minnesota Vikings fan. Joining him is Mary Serie from the Minnesota charity Spare Key.
- BARRICADED SUICIDAL SUBJECT – Buena Borough
- NARCOTICS ARREST- Buena Borough