Gavin Atcheson’s Front Row Experience: Disney On Ice
Gavin Atcheson, 13, received the thrill of his life when a simple ring of the doorbell brought his favorite character to life before his very eyes. Opening the door revealed Front Row Foundation Events Director, Helen Smith, dressed as Elsa to surprise him with the news he was going to see Frozen On Ice. Christi, his mother, has shared her love of Disney with all her kids as they grew but no one has shared it with her more than Gavin who would become entranced by Elsa and Anna of Frozen. Though only 13, Gavin has dealt with health issues his entire life; from Infantile Spasms before his 1st birthday to being diagnosed with Autism at age 3, to his recent battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia starting in 2016, and treatment-related issues including Osteonecrosis of his pelvis. Yet through it all his spirit has not waned, as he’s nicknamed “Sunshine”, being able to cheer Christi up before she’s even had her morning coffee.
Gavin’s love of Frozen is matched only by his love for Chuck E. Cheese, so before heading to see the show, the family went for a pizza party. What they didn’t know was that Chuckie was waiting to surprise them with all sorts of gifts for Gavin and would stay throughout the party, even dancing with him. Gavin excitedly asked him what games he wanted to play as they walked hand and hand through the arcade, which was a special moment for Christi and Luke, his step-dad, to witness seeing him with the Mouse himself; they even gave him the “big fish” prize though he didn’t have enough game tickets. In addition to the pizza party fun, Gavin and his siblings got to have their first limo ride to the BMO Harris Center. There BMO Harris crew went the extra mile sending Gavin and his crew through the service entrance to so they could go straight to their VIP ice-side seats. His face would light up as the characters from Frozen interacted with him from the ice. Christi would witness another Front Row moment for Gavin as he would blow kisses back and forth with Elsa and Anna; Tyler and Gavin shared a touching moment sitting together singing songs and laughing together when snow fell during the show. Helen, as the Event Host, did everything she could to make the event special, including making sure Gavin never ran short of popcorn, but also gifted him the Elsa wig she wore in the reveal. A day of Chuck E. Cheese fun and Disney magic was had by all. A day that Gavin and his family will be able to treasure for many years to come.