Metro Detroit Youth Earns Spot as Turkey Day VIP


This Thanksgiving, 10-year-old Conner Smith of Commerce Township will have an once-in-a-lifetime experience as the winner of the #MIKidsCan Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit Lions.

As the winner of the digital sweepstakes, which called on Detroit Lions fans to share what their kids do to get active by playing for 60 minutes a day, Conner will ride on the Blue Cross float in America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van, deliver the game ball to Ford Field and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner watching the game from club-level seats with nine gusts.

“More than two-thirds of Michigan kids don’t get the physical activity they need, putting them at risk for serious health issues in the future, and Blue Cross and the Detroit Lions have a shared goal of improving that number,” says Andrew Hetzel, vice president for corporate communications at Blue Cross.  “We commend all the families who participated in the sweepstakes, especially those children who are establishing healthy habits at a young age by getting at least 60 minutes of active play every day.”

More than 1,300 Michigan children, ages 10-18, entered the month-long sweepstakes, hosted on the Detroit Lions website, before the winner was randomly selected.

As part of his #MIKidsCan Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes package, Conner will have the opportunity to:

  • Ride on the Blue Cross float in America’s Thanksgiving Parade, accompanied by two adults, including one parent or guardian
  • Invite guests to special seating along the parade route
  • Deliver the commemorative game ball to Ford Field prior to the Lions taking on the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Participate in the national anthem and on-field “fan tunnel” prior to the Lions game
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and watch the game from club-level seats with nine guests

“We were excited to see the enthusiasm from children across the state entering this sweepstakes not only for the Thanksgiving opportunity of a lifetime, but also to showcase their healthy habits,” says Elizabeth Parkinson, Detroit Lions spokeswoman. “Our combined efforts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to encourage ‘Play 60’ and focus on nutritious eating are undoubtedly aiding in the foundation of a healthier Michigan for generations to come.”

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