(CBS NEWS) -- When Shane Bouvet was extended an invitation to an inaugural ball in Washington, D.C., he almost didn’t believe it was real. In fact, he hung up on the woman who invited him — before finally realizing the invite wasn’t just a scam.
The 24-year-old part-time FedEx courier from the small town of Stonington, Illinois, who volunteered as a social media coordinator for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, headed to Washington with a group of friends ahead of Inauguration Day.
He was snapping pictures in front of Trump International Hotel when he got another phone call. This time, it was from a member of the president-elect’s staff. The staff member explained that Mr. Trump read a profile about Bouvet in The Washington Post days earlier, and was “very touched” by his story. The article recounted Bouvet’s commitment to the campaign and his financial struggles as a single dad whose father was fighting cancer.
“He really wants to talk to you,” Bouvet recalled the voice on the other line saying.
The staff member offered to seat Bouvet and his friends in a VIP section at the welcome ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.
Two hours after Bouvet took his seat at the celebration, he was pulled away by the Secret Service, who guided him into a large white tent where the Trump entourage was gathered.
“Everyone started clapping,” Bouvet recalled.
The group included Mr. Trump, first lady Melania Trump and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Mr. Trump and Bouvet exchanged a few words and took a few pictures.
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.