By Dave Jolivet
FALL RIVER — It’s not every day that a youngster gets to meet a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, let alone shoot a television commercial with him.
But it can and did happen for 10-year-old Aviyen Merced, a student at Holy Trinity School in Fall River, when he was recently cast to appear with former Red Sox legend David ”Big Papi” Ortiz for eternalHealth, a healthcare provider based in Boston.
Merced, who before attending school at Holy Trinity went to Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton, isn’t new to acting and modeling. The talented youngster has appeared in another TV ad for Toyota, print ads for New Balance, Lego, and Hasbro, among others.
Aviyen’s mother, Alyssa, told The Anchor her son enjoys acting and modeling and someday hopes to be in a show on Disney and in movies.
Aviyen and his mom sent in an audition tape and Aviyen was selected. He plays a grandson with his grandparents watching a softball game in which Big Papi was playing.
“Aviyen was excited to meet such a well-known celebrity and athlete,” Alyssa said. ”And I was thrilled to meet him. He was so down to earth and friendly. I spoke to him in Spanish to get to know him better. He told Aviyen, who is half Puerto Rican, to learn Spanish because it will help him get far in life.”
Ortiz has partnered with eternalHealth, which also promotes the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, selling Ortiz-related items of which 100 percent of the net proceeds support children in New England and the Dominican Republic who cannot afford the critical cardiac services they need.
For more information about the David Ortiz Hall of Fame collection visit www.davidortizhofcollection.com. To learn more about eternalHealth and its mission visit eternalHealth.org.