Michael Sullivan of Caraway received a double treat Monday, March 10, as he entered Cowboy Grill to celebrate his 19th birthday and ended up receiving a trip to the NASCAR Races in Bristol, Tenn., from the Make A Wish Foundation.
"Mikey has always dreamed of attending the NASCAR races and no present could have made him any happier," said his mother, Pam Sullivan. "We are not sure if anyone tipped him off about the surprise or not, but we did catch him looking out the front window a lot during the party."
The Cowboy Grill restaurant was filled with Mikey's friends and family members and Riverside senior classmates. He had a large green John Deere cake and a wide variety of snacks and treats. Mikey received many gifts, which filled the front tables. He took time to receive hugs and best wishes as he walked around the room visiting with his friends.
The Grill stage was decorated with checkered race cloths and stand up cut outs of racers Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin. Mikey declared that Jeff Gordon was still his favorite driver.
Soon the news of a special arrival came, and Mikey was steered outside to greet the staff of Make A Wish Foundation, and the news that he and his family would be attending NASCAR races on Sunday, March 16, as the guest of the foundation. Make A Wish volunteers Kim Adams, Amy Duch, and Stephanie Stank were on hand to present a bounty of gifts for Michael, which included a NASCAR jacket, clothing, hats, and every variety of memorabilia. Charter Media Inc. provided an executive suite at the races.
A personal driver arrived in the Casey Cane race car from Race On Out of Memphis. Mikey didn't waste any time climbing through the window on the passenger side of the car for his thundering ride around town.
"This is my happiest birthday yet," he said. "This is just a dream come true."
Michael, sister Lindsey, and parents, Mike and Pam Sullivan, left for Bristol on Thursday with plans to return on March 18.
A call from the Sullivans reported that Michael was made honorary Mayor of Bristol with a large party hosted afterwards by LaQuinta Hotel. The Sullivan family received pit passes to Sunday's race, which enabled them to visit the drivers and pit crews.
Photos by Nan Snider"
Mike, Lindsey, Michael, and Pam Sullivan, 17, hold up their Make A Wish Foundation gift banner announcing their trip to NASCAR races in Bristol, Tenn.
Micheal Sullivan's 19th birthday cake is complete with tractors and farm scenes, as he celebrates with family and friends at Cowboy Grill on March 10.