Unless perhaps you’re a family of three and you’re intending to witness Notre Dame’s football team play Alabama Monday night in Miami for the national championship.
“Mom, do we have anything valuable around here we can sell?’’ he asked his mother, Celeste, expressing the first option that came to mind.
Ultimately, Blake opted to write a letter to the university, explaining his plight. Thanks to Celeste, the touching request showed up as well on the Facebook page of television personality Ellen DeGeneres.
From there, it spread like wildfire through social media networks, garnering some $6,000 in support of Blake’s quest, some even from Alabama fans. Three free round-trip tickets to Miama from American Airlines for Blake, Celeste and Blake’s brother, Brenden, 12, also ensued, as did a pair of free tickets to the game from a Notre Dame alum.
The problem then became a third ticket to the game, which Celeste finally secured Thursday from Stub Hub for $1,600.
“It was down to the wire,’’ she said.
Yes, $1,600 is a lot, as is the $2,500 the family will fork over for its three nights in a Miama hotel room. But how do you put a price on a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a youth facing a far more daunting challenge?
“Oh, yes, he’s excited,’’ Celeste said.
As for the other two game tickets, she said has no idea who donated them or even the area of the country where the donor resides. A bartender at the Four Winds Casino in Hartford, Mich., Celeste said it’s hard to fathom that Blake’s dream is coming true.
“Now that it’s getting closer, it’s starting to sink in for all of us,’’ she said.
She has been assured, she added, that the family will sit together at Sun Life Stadium in an area reserved for special needs spectators. Rain is expected today and Saturday in Miami but Monday’s forecast makes no mention of it.
In last month’s story, Blake whose favorite player is Manti Te’o, predicted a close game decided by seven points. The winner, of course, will be Notre Dame, he said.
Staff writer Lou Mumford: firstname.lastname@example.org 269-687-3551