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Sunday
Jun152014

George R.R. Martin to Name "Game of Thrones" Character for Michigan-Based CEO

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Author George R.R. Martin, the creator of the literary series A Song of Ice and Fire, on which the television show Game of Thrones is based, is introducing another new character in one of his upcoming books thanks to a $20,000 charitable donation.

This newest character will be named after Dr. Dave Cotton, CEO of Meridian Health Plan, a health insurance company based in Michigan.

Cotton's family, who has supported the Detroit Zoo's upcoming wolf habitat, surprised him with the Father's Day gift on Sunday.

Mike Cotton, chief operating officer of Meridian Health Plan and one of Dr. Cotton's three sons, said his father had an affinity for wolves before he started reading Martin's fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice, which was first published in 1996.

"We saw this crowdfunding come up online and we thought it would be perfect for his love of wolves," Mike Cotton told ABC News.

Mike's brother, Sean, who is an administrative officer at the family-operated company, said their father loves the books and watches the HBO series "avidly."

"He’s always referred to himself as a lone wolf," he said of his father.

There were only two top-level prizes available, called the "martyr" level, in which Martin will name characters after the two winners. The two winners get to choose their "character's station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death!" the Prizeo website states. The two prizes were originally intended for a man and a woman, but Leo Seigal, co-founder of Prizeo, said Martin might be willing to "slightly bend the rules," given the generosity of all his fans.

Martin's project is raising money for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Martin lives with his wife, Parris. The campaign is hosted on celebrity-based sweepstakes fundraising site Prizeo.com. The fundraiser has reached about $400,000 so far.

Dr. Cotton's wife, Shery, the former COO who retired last year, said she would like her husband to choose his "station in life" for his future character.

"He’s a very difficult man to get a gift for," Shery Cotton said. "If he wants something, he’ll get it himself. That’s why we all got together and did this for Father’s Day."

In terms of past Father's Day gifts, this is clearly the biggest, the family said. Shery Cotton once made a wolf sculpture for her husband.

"There has been nothing like this -- a tie here or there," Mike Cotton said.

Earlier this week, the other winner came forward: Dave Goldblatt, a 30-year old Facebook employee from San Francisco. Goldblatt and Cotton will be featured in an upcoming book in Martin's series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Goldblatt chose to be a "Valryian," a people group famous for their indestructible steel, as his station in Martin's literary universe.

After reaching the goal of $200,000 last week, the fundraiser's "stretch" goal of $500,000 was announced, with the original deadline of August 4. Every Wednesday, a new prize will be offered.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio