Regina’s most popular entrepreneur finally got to meet his favourite football hero Saturday afternoon, as he was treated to a face-to-face meeting with Riders star quarterback Darian Durant.
Eleven-year-old Jonathon McKinney made waves earlier this week after his story about his lawn mowing business aired on Global News. Jonathon had started the business to simply earn enough cash to attend a Riders game.
The story gained a lot of traction and quickly caught the attention of the community, including the Saskatchewan Roughriders who offered to send him and his family to Friday’s game against the Ottawa Red Blacks.
On Saturday, Capital Auto Mall hosted its first ever Riders Family Fun day celebrating all things Riders at the car dealership which included a barbecue, drum line performance and autograph signing with some of the Roughriders players.
According to former Riders wide receiver Don Narcisse, the organization wanted Jonathon to meet his favourite player there too.
“You talk about hard work, and this kid working hard just to go to the rider football game? It brought tears to my eyes,” Narcisse said.
“I wanted to meet this kid, I want to bring him to these events, so he can get a chance to meet Darian Durant.”
It was a meeting Jonathon said he never believed would ever happen.
“Because like, I used to live in Manitoba,” Jonathon said.
“I’ve been wanting to meet him for a long time.”
Jonathon had written a thank you letter to Durant and the entire Roughriders team, hand delivering it to Durant Saturday afternoon.
Star quarterback Darian Durant praised the 11-year-old for his good work ethic and determination.
“To be able to meet (Jonathon) and have (him) come see the people they look up to, it’s just great,” Durant said.
“I’m just glad he got a chance to come to the game, relax and have fun.”
His family already has tickets to the game against the Calgary Stampeders in August. They said they are very grateful to the community that has shown them so much love.
“He was only looking for a couple jobs around the area,” Devenie Worm, Jonathon’s mother said.
“We never thought it would go this big. We’re so appreciative of all of Regina and surrounding areas for supporting him.”
Jonathon said he will continue working at his lawn mowing business, despite already reaching his goal.