Matthew Alarcon knew he was going on a shopping spree last Friday, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But the 17-year-old wasn’t expecting the red-carpet treatment when he arrived at a Best Buy store in Houston.
Employees from three Best Buy locations gathered to greet Matthew and his family as they arrived by limousine to the Best Buy store located within The Galleria shopping mall. The group of Blue Shirts (some posing as “paparazzi” and snapping photos) cheered as Matthew, his mom, dad and two younger brothers walked the red carpet and entered the store, where he got even more special treatment.
The outpouring of support meant a lot to Matthew, who has been battling a malignant brain tumor. He asked Make-A-Wish North Texas for a shopping spree, and Best Buy was the No. 1 store he wanted to visit.
“I was just thinking I would walk into Best Buy like I would any other day,” said Matthew, who lives in Muleshoe, Texas. “I was so excited and happy that they took the time out of their day to do that for me.”
Rhea Gonzales, Matthew’s mom, said everyone made them feel welcome.
“Geek Squad had their vans in a line, everybody was dressed up and I even saw blue eyelash extensions,” she said. “I was really surprised by what a big deal they made.”
During his visit, Matthew picked out a video game console, headphones and a few other things. Some of Best Buy’s vendor partners also gifted him with some fun swag.
“It was just amazing,” Matthew said.
After his big shopping day, Matthew stopped by to thank his neurosurgeon and see his uncle who lives in Houston. But the Best Buy visit — and General Manager Ronald Phillips, in particular — made a memorable impact.
“He was amazing. He made a really big impact on Matt,” Rhea said. “We even shared stories about our kids. He went above and beyond. He really stood out to us and made us feel welcome.”
Ronald said that while his team wanted to make it a special day for Matthew, it ended up being special for his team, too.
“The way I explained it to the team is, this is Best Buy. We just did it the Best Buy way,” he said. “Go big or go home. And when you think it’s big, go a little bit bigger.”