FORT MYERS, Florida — A seven-year-old girl made a lasting connection with a hero in uniform saturday during a Boston Red Sox open house in Florida.
It happened at “Jetblue Park at Fenway South” in Fort Myers.
“Somebody that was famous that signed it, and it’s very special to me.”
For Makenna Woodburn, this ball means everything.
It’s signed by her hero, and she’s not letting it out of her sight.
“I want to save my allowance for a case and on Wednesday I’m going to take it to school with me for show and tell.”
Makenna got the autograph while at a spring training event at Jetblue Park, but the ball’s not signed by a baseball player. This signature belongs to someone who plays for our country’s team.
“One of the weirdest best feelings ever,” said US Army reservist Olyvia Russell.
Olyvia Russell was wearing her uniform Saturday when Makenna asked for her autograph.
“There was a huge line trying to get autographs and this little girl she was in line to get the autographs too and she stepped out of line, lost her spot in line and came over to me and she was like, ‘Can you sign my ball?'”
So Olyvia signed it, and hours later, the moment still stuck with both her and Makenna.
“I would really like to connect with her just to thank her personally,” says Makenna’s mother Angie Woodburn.
Russell says, “I was like wow I should’ve gotten her name or something. It’s probably because like she’s never seen like a woman in uniform because there’s not as many of us out there.”
A simple post in a Facebook group reconnected them in just several hours. They’re now friends on Facebook and hope to get together soon. That Facebook post is now going viral.
“That is the coolest thing ever,” says Russell.
Although it was a small gesture, it meant the world to both of them according to Makenna’s mom, “She’s the hero instead of baseball players.”
“This little girl. She proved to me that what I’m doing in life is okay and I’m something that’s good enough,” Russell adds.
Russell, Makenna and her mother all plan to get together for lunch within the next week.