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One week away: Former FOX 17 Person of the Year excited for trip to Super Bowl LVI

Sawyer Hendrickson was surprised by the Detroit Lions with tickets to the game
Sawyer Hendrickson Super Bowl LVI
Posted at 8:27 PM, Feb 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-06 22:49:20-05

LUDINGTON, Mich. — If you've watched our newscasts before, the name Sawyer Hendrickson might be familiar to you. She's a former FOX 17 Pay it Forward Person of the Year winner. Now, she's one week away from the trip of a lifetime — Hendrickson is headed to Super Bowl LVI.

“Yeah, I’ve been really excited," Hendrickson told FOX 17. "I’ve really been looking forward to it.”

One month ago, the Detroit Lions had a surprise for Hendrickson. She was named their Salute to Service Person of the Year, and in return, the team gifted her tickets to the big game.

“I had no idea that it was going to happen," she said. "It was just a surprise...and I’m really grateful for it.”

Hendrickson's face lit up in that moment, just as she's done for so many men and women in the military. In 2016, at seven years old, Hendrickson created her own non-profit called Miss Sawyer's "Kids With A Cause" to, in her own words, 'serve those who serve.'

“It makes me really proud of myself because I’ve been able to change people’s lives and just put a smile on people’s faces with the care packages I send for the military and for the military events that I go to," she said. "I just really love doing it.”

That volunteer work earned her FOX 17's Pay it Forward Person of the Year title in 2019. The Lions helped pay it back, sending her to Super Bowl LVI.

Earlier this week, Hendrickson received part of her Super Bowl package from the team — $500 to spend, on top of her flights, hotel and tickets.

The surprise just kept getting better, but she said the biggest surprise of all is seeing Matthew Stafford, former Lions' QB and now a member of the Los Angeles Rams, in this position.

“I’ve been a big fan of the Lions since I was little," she said. "I’ve always loved Stafford. Stafford’s always been one of my favorites. Getting to see him play at the Super Bowl is going to be really cool.”

Hendrickson added, “It’s just crazy that — I never thought that Stafford would ever go to the Super Bowl, as bad as that sounds. I just never thought it would happen.”

Maybe Hendrickson's presence will help Stafford even further. The Lions won their first game of the season when they gifted her the tickets.

“They called me and asked if I could go to the next game," she said. "Then I went to that game and they won too.”

So, if the Rams win, Hendrickson wants some credit.

“I am in fact the good luck charm," she joked.

Hendrickson and her father leave for the game on Thursday. Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals is Sunday, Feb. 13.

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