(NEW YORK) — A school bus driver and longtime Eagles fan is now headed to Super Bowl LII, thanks to the families of the children he transports daily on his route.
On Monday, when Gary Kelmer pulled the bus up at his last stop of the day in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, he was met by more than just parents anxious to see their children.
He was handed two tickets to the big game as well personalized Eagles jerseys for him and his wife.
Amy Smith and her husband, Izaak, launched a GoFundMe page — “Send Mr. Gary to the Super Bowl” — for Kelmer on Jan. 23. On the GoFundMe page, Amy Smith, the mother of three, said two of her children rode the school bus driven by Kelmer.
“We are so blessed to have such a wonderful bus driver. … One who gets our kids safely, plays the ‘coolest’ music according to my kids, hands out Air Heads on Fridays, and lets my crazy 4-year-old on the bus to talk on the speaker,” she said in her post.
Amy Smith also said in her post that to know Kelmer was to know of his diehard love for the Eagles. She said he’d even taught his students the team fight song.
“I went to congratulate him the morning after the Eagles won the NFC (National Football Conference) championship. … He was literally in tears, he was so happy,” she told ABC News station WPVI-TV.
Within five days, she said, $5,000 had been raised on the GoFundMe page. The donations purchased two Super Bowl tickets for Kelmer and his wife as well as their airfare to Minneapolis.
Kelmer, a bus driver for more than 26 years, was emotional as stepped down off the bus and families from along his route presented him with the gifts.
“I just want to say thank you to all the wonderful families in Mount Laurel that have supported me,” he said, “and go Eagles!”
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