As the holidays approached last year, Golden Tate, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, and his Golden Future Foundation were looking for a Michigan veteran who wanted to make the season extra festive with an engagement proposal. IAVA stepped into high gear, hitting our network to find our member and Navy veteran Eric Gestring, who lives in Lansing, Michigan.
Eric had faced a tough 2015. Since separating from the Navy a few years earlier, Eric had gone back to school and was moving forward with plans for the future. Then he received word that his father, Stephen, had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Eric sprung into action to do all he could for his dad, even selling his car and his house to finance treatments. Sadly, Stephen passed away in October.
Eric, new to IAVA, was excited about the prospect of an amazing proposal experience. His girlfriend Darien, a nursing student, had been by his side through these challenges. With the Golden Future Foundation and IAVA by his side — and most importantly, an engagement ring in hand thanks to the generosity of jewelry maker Ritani — Eric began preparing a secret proposal to wow Darien.
The day was set for the Lion’s December 27th game. Eric, Darien and their families were treated to box seats, where the suite was decked out with pictures of the couple and of Eric’s dad. Before the game kicked off, the group was led to the field. In an instant, Eric popped the question and the rest is for the books! Many congratulations to the happy couple!
Huge thanks to Golden Tate, Elise Pollard, the Golden Future Foundation, the Detroit Lions and Ritani for making this special day possible for of of our own.