LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock boy who loves blimps will have his high-flying dream come true on Saturday.
The Goodyear blimp is coming to Lubbock for McWhorter's Tires 75th anniversary. It will fly over the Texas Tech game on Saturday. That trip comes with a special surprise for 7-year-old Andrew Ferris.
Andrew attends Lubbock Cooper Central Elementary School and has been fascinated with blimps for more than a year.
After learning about it, Goodyear and McWhorter's were able to team up and present Andrew with the surprise of a lifetime.
It all started with a letter Andrew wrote to Goodyear, specifically to the blimp department: "Dear Goodyear, hi my name is Andrew and I am 7 years old. I love your blimps. One day, I would like to visit one of your blimps."
Andrew's letter made a big impression on the folks at Goodyear. Goodyear had already planned a trip to Lubbock, so they sent Andrew's letter on to McWhorter's.
"When Goodyear did that, we decided to hopefully get him on a blimp ride," said Rock Rickel, President at McWhorter's.
McWhorter's reached out to Andrew's family to arrange this much-anticipated blimp ride.
That was a huge surprise for Andrew's mother Stacey, who says she was just hoping Goodyear would reply to Andrew's letter and maybe send him something small like a t-shirt.
"I just about fell out of my chair; I was so, so excited for him to get to ride on a blimp," Stacey said.
After a lot of planning, McWhorter's went to Andrew's school to reveal the big surprise in front of all his classmates.
Andrew's teacher, Mrs. Roland, says the class had been told to write about something they wanted to know more about. Andrew chose the topic of blimps, but he already knows quite a bit about them.
"He goes and researches for himself online on kids YouTube and he came across the Goodyear blimp," said Andrew's mom, Stacey.
Now it looks like all that research is paying off.
"I drew a picture for you on the back, I hope you like it," Andrew's letter said.
Staff at McWhorter's were impressed with the attention to detail in his drawing of the Goodyear blimp.
"Very, very close to the real thing, it's got the motor on it and everything," Rickel said. "He's going to be an engineer when he grows up."
Andrew even had a blimp birthday party.
"I went online and Goodyear had where you can buy those blimps. We did Goodyear colors and I had his invitation designed, so we had to work hard for it," Stacey said.
Andrew is very excited to go up in the blimp after the game, and he already knows what the coolest part is going to be.
"When I'm in the air, I will be able to see the whole city," Andrew said.
And while Andrew may not realize how cool this surprise really is, his mom knows this is something he'll cherish for a long, long time.
"When he gets older, he'll realize how incredibly special it was to get to be on it," Stacey said.