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A North Port girl gets a special gift from Leonard Fournette

Posted at 2:35 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 15:00:54-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Another lucky Buccaneers fan gets a special gift from a player.

“I just couldn’t hold it. I just started crying because I felt so lucky. I have a football, but a jersey that is so crazy," Theresa Garofalo said.

A crazy set of events to get that game-worn jersey in the 11-year-olds hands.

“A couple of weeks earlier, we were at a game and Leonard Fournette scored a touchdown right in front of us. He pointed at Theresa, but then Tom Brady and the guys were celebrating and the ball fumbled on the ground a little bit," David Garofalo, Theresa’s Father, said. "He still remembered to throw it back at us because it was for Theresa, then a man stepped in front of it and grabbed the ball.”

A little bummed after not getting the game ball, so her dad set off on a mission. He contacted one of his buddies.

“Do you have any contact with players?" he said. “I said I want something done at the next game. I will bring Theresa."

The plan was in motion and Theresa had no idea that she would walk away with a Leonard Fournette jersey.

“My brother was tapping my shoulder and he was like hold on… hold on, I am taking a photo and then he finally saw it and he went like that and that’s when he gave me the jersey," she said. “I didn’t realize it was actually going to happen. It just felt so weird. I feel so special for it being me.”

A special moment for the 11-year-old.

“When I saw her go through that emotion. I was like, thank God. You know, it’s so cool," David said.

An incredible moment that has been shared across social media. Fournette took to his Instagram posting that very moment.

A moment David said she would never forget.

“I haven’t obviously been able to talk to Leonard Fournette, but I want to firstly thank him for touching my daughter’s life the way he did. It means a lot and I am really looking forward to seeing him week in and week out," he said.

They are planning to see him soon. The season ticket holders already have plans for their next games, including a trip to the Carolina Panthers stadium around Christmas time.