By Alex Billington
Assistant Sports Editor
Super Bowl XLVIII set the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks. Tickets for this year’s Super Bowl were like gold dust. Finding the tickets in order to purchase them was one thing, but who ever dreamed of getting them for free? To win Super Bowl tickets just two weeks before the big event is quite extraordinary, but one lucky LIU Post student did just that.
Marisa DeSilvestre, a third year student in the Radiological Technology program at LIU Post, has just begun the clinical rotations portion of her degree at a local hospital. However, in her spare time, she organizes blood drives for the New York Blood Center, an admirable feat for a busy college student on the cusp of an important semester.
Blood donors were placed in a raffle for Super Bowl tickets. Many individuals have been in a raffle before, but this particular raffle was statewide. The New York Blood Center offered two tickets for the lucky winner chosen from a pool of donors from both July and December blood drives.
What was the chance of winning? Pretty low. What DeSilvestre did not know was that the hosts were also entered for the chance to win. DeSilvestre remembers receiving the call while working out in the gym.
“I said, ‘No, seriously what is the call really about?’” She laughed as she reminisced. “Then I was just in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I’m so fortunate to win such a great prize,” she said.
Winning two Super Bowl tickets required an important decision; whom would DeSilvestre take along for such a tremendous experience? DeSilvestre said, “My family members are huge New York Giants fans, and my brothers actually have season tickets. That’s a tough decision for anyone; a father and four brothers, all huge football fans, two tickets.” DeSilvestre explained, “In the end, I chose to take my father. He has done so much for me and he’s never been [to the Super Bowl], so it’s a great feeling to be able to give something back.”
DeSilvestre’s good fortune appeared on the radar of LIU President Kimberly R. Cline, who requested a meeting with DeSilvestre to talk about the remarkable circumstances surrounding her win. DeSilvestre met the LIU president, took a couple of pictures, and even went on a little tour while Cline talked through a few of the great improvements set to begin at LIU Post. “She is such a sweet person, and had a real interest in the work I do with the blood center,” added DeSilvestre.
This year’s Super Bowl was at MetLife stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home to both the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The official website for this year’s event described it as, “A Super Bowl so historic, it takes two states to host it,” which was an impressive description that left every football fan in a spiral of excitement.
People choose to donate blood out of the goodness of their hearts with the knowledge that it will help someone, somewhere, someday. The same is true for organizers who pledge time in aid of this cause. This amazing prize was an incredible gesture from the New York Blood Centre in a bid to attract more donors. It also is a way for the organization to give something back to the generous people who donate their blood at drives across the state.
It was an exciting couple of weeks for DeSilvestre, topped off in style on Sunday, February 2, when she became part of a very small group of people who attended one of the world’s major sporting events. Who did DeSilvestre support on Sunday? “The Broncos, because it’s Eli’s brother,” she said.