Christmas came a little early for one family from Springs.
Mary McPartland and her 13-year-old son, Andrew Wilson, will be at Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21, thanks to two tickets McPartland won in a statewide lottery.
Wilson even helped Senator Charles E. Schumer announce the 225 winners out of "tens of thousands" who entered, the senator's office said at a press conference on Sunday.
A Springs School eighth grader who has taken a keen interest in social studies, Andrew was the one to convince his mother to enter the drawing. "I was concerned about the temperatures in January, but as a typical teen would say, 'YOLO mom, we have to go!'," she recalled.
"After some more thought, I realized, this is one of those moments that could actually shape an outlook on life, and isn't it great that a kid would feel so connected to American democracy and the President of his country that he'd want to take part?," McPartland said.
Schumer, the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, spent some time with Andrew and the other children who accompanied their parents. McPartland and her family joined 11 other winners from the metro area for the announcement.
"He really engaged them all — reminded me of the importance of making sure to reach out to our elected officials in a regular basis," McPartland said.
During Andrew's speech, he said he was "shocked" because he "really doesn't win anything by chance," his mother said. "Yes, Andrew is really really looking forward to the Inauguration."
“I am thrilled for these New Yorkers, who will soon be headed to Washington D.C. to witness a piece of America’s history,” Schumer said in a statement. “The winners of this lottery have the unique opportunity to attend President Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony and I am positive they will remember this moment for years and years to come."
Eight of the winners are from the Bronx, 23 are from Brooklyn, 18 are from Manhattan, 14 live in Queens, and 9 live in Staten Island, but Long Island is home to 20 winners, 12 of whom reside in Suffolk County and 8 of whom live in Nassau County.
McPartland said she and her son are looking forward to the trip next month. They will tour the Capitol building and the Supreme Court, as well. Inauguration day is also the day that honors Martin Luther King Jr., and, as members of Points of Life, a volunteer organization, they will be doing an outreach day of service at the DC Armory to honor the troops on Jan. 20.
The following day, the 57th quadrennial Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies begin with a procession to the nation’s Capitol. Schumer will accompany the President to the Capitol for the ceremonies and Inaugural luncheon. A parade will follow, featuring marching bands, marching units, and other performers chosen by the Joint Task Force-National Capitol Region.
Obama will take the oath of office on the west front of the United States Capitol. Following the swearing-in ceremony, he will give a second Inaugural address.
Did you enter the lottery? Do you wish you were going to the Inauguration? Tell us in the comments below.