Lions QB Matthew Stafford got a hero's welcome Wednesday afternoon at Kennedy Elementary. He surprised the kids during an assembly focused on cultivating healthy habits.
“I hope it resonates. I hope a couple of those kids in there were Lions fans. There were a couple jerseys around which was fun to see," said Stafford.
For a message on eating right and staying active, Stafford was the perfect messenger.
“I have to be healthy, Play 60 minutes a day, workout, whatever it is and get out there and make sure that I’m eating healthy too so I think it really works. It’s a whole lot of fun for me to get out here and hang out with these kids," he said.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan partners with the Detroit Lions for events like this. Vice President of Communications Andrew Hetzel says there is an important reason behind the partnership and events such as the one on Wednesday.
"One in three children in Michigan are overweight and we all a stake in changing that for the better... We’re talking to kids about the importance of eating healthy everyday and exercising for at least 60 minutes everyday," said Hetzel
The assembly gave kids the chance to get active right there in the gym with encouragement from their peers, Lions mascot Roary and even Stafford himself. It's an opportunity Stafford says he wishes he has at their age.
"I grew up in Dallas, TX, thinking to myself every time I do one of these, that if Troy Aikman would have walked in I would have been just completely star struck, so it’s fun….A little overwhelming sometimes to be on the other side of that and know what these kids are thinking and what they think of you, so I try to do the best I can and just give them some leadership," Stafford said.