Raiders brighten boy’s birthday party

Elijah Melendez and a handful of his Navarre football teammates could have found something else to do on a Saturday rather than show up at a young boy’s birthday party.

But when they learned there was a birthday party and none of 6-year-old Gavin Carter’s friends attended, they rose to the occasion much the way they do on Friday nights during the season.

“After hearing that a little boy had a birthday party that nobody went to, I felt said,” Melendez said. “No one should celebrate their birthday by themselves.”

It all started with a post on Facebook. A father rented a big waterslide for the party and though many RSVP’d, the party did not go as planned in terms of the number of guests.

Gavin’s father offered for anyone with children who wanted to come by and have some fun, eat cake and ice cream, were welcome to drop in.

David Higginbotham, the father of Dawson, an offensive lineman for the Raiders, commented on the post. He asked if Gavin would love to have some Raider football players stop by.

A plan was put into motion and executed to perfection.

Read the full article in the Aug. 8 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at for as little as $38 per year. Visit to view subscription options.

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