As the winner, he not only will get 10 free tickets to the Thanksgiving Day game, but he also will be on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan float in the America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van. From there, he will get a police escort to Ford Field where he will meet players and coaches and participate in some pre-game on-field activities for about an hour.
And if that’s not enough, Gavin will get to run through the fan tunnel and deliver a commemorative game ball, then stand beside Aretha Franklin as she sings the national anthem.
At half-time of the game against the Minnesota Vikings, Gavin and his family will be served a complete Thanksgiving meal catered in just for them.
“It’s going to be great,” said Gavin, who didn’t know that his Dad, Jason, had entered Gavin’s name in the contest. When his dad delivered the news about winning, Gavin said he was thrilled.
“I threw my hands in the air and started yelling. I can’t believe it,” he said.
Gavin, who admits he is an avid Lions fan, said he’s most looking forward to meeting Coach Jim Caldwell and some of the players. He hopes to meet his favorite player, quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait it’s going to be so much fun,” he said.
Although Gavin is a die-hard Detroit Lions fan, he might not be the biggest Lions fan in his house. His dad has already won that title.
Jason entered a Fox 17 Biggest Lions Fan of West Michigan contest in 2003. For that, he and his family were picked up in Grand Rapids and taken by limousine to the game where they watched the game from one of the suites.
Jason said he knew how much Gavin loves the Lions so when he heard about the contest, he decided he might as well take a chance.
“I thought it was worth a shot,” the elder DeVore said. “I never thought he would win, but he is a pretty lucky kid.”
Last summer Gavin won a contest allowing him to attend a Lions football summer camp, and earlier this year, his football team coached by Jason, won the opportunity to play at halftime on the field during a game.
“I don’t know who is more excited — me or him,” said Jason “I just think it’s going to be a great experience for him and something he will remember forever.”
Jason said his 84-year-old grandmother also will be going, as well as other family members.
“That makes me happy — that she’s going to get to go along and be part of it,” he said. “I think she’s only ever been to a game once or twice.”
Gavin said he loves playing football — his favorite sport. He plays quarterback and linebacker positions and said he hopes to play for many more years.
“He’s not a kid who sits around and plays video games inside all the time,” said Jason. “He likes to play outside, and even when he can’t be outside, he’s tossing the football down the hallway in the house.”
If he’s not playing football, Gavin might be playing baseball, running or wrestling. He’s made the state finals in wrestling eight years in a row.
“He’s always playing or doing something active,” said Jason.
Being active is paying off in many ways, including the Thanksgiving Day contest.
“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. “We’re excited to recognize Gavin for his dedication to getting in 60 minutes of active play every day — especially during the holiday season when busy schedules and Michigan weather can sometimes act as deterrents to physical activity.”
The sweepstakes was open to children age 10 to 18.
The #MIKidsCan Turkey Day 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 be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Over the past 11 years, Blue Cross has given more than $6.5 million in support of kids’ health and wellness initiatives across the state, reaching nearly 200,000 children in nearly 400 schools.