For the past month, Good Morning Quad Cities has been gearing up for this day: surprising one lucky person with a trip to the Caribbean!
WQAD teamed up with the Chicago/Rockford International Airport, Apple Vacations, and RIU Resorts, for a four-day, three-night, all-inclusive getaway to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The contest officially ended Tuesday night which gave us a little time to formulate a plan on how to surprise our winner.
We had to tell a little white lie to Dona Kenney of Milan, Illinois, by saying she was a finalist for the trip. But that was just to find out where she'd be so we could show up and surprise her. And surprised, she was! Jonathan Ketz started interviewing her about why she volunteers at Grace Bible Fellowship's food pantry. That's when Angie Sharp and I came in from behind.
We showered her with confetti and brought colorful balloons as part of the surprise. Her reaction was priceless!
But her story is even better. She volunteers her time at the church's food pantry because she feels the need to return the favor and give back. After the cameras stopped rolling, she broke down when it started to set in. Dona didn't say for sure who she's taking on the trip, but she's thinking about taking her mom to the beach. When I asked her how many times she got the secret word and entered, she said she only missed the word a few times. She said she DVR'd GMQC just in case she missed one.
And without knowing it, Dona made us feel special. By sharing her personal story, she makes us realize that good things do happen to good people. We were honored to be a part of it!
I'd like to give a special thank-you to my hometown airport: the Chicago/Rockford International Airport for allowing us to give this wonderful prize to Dona. She's so excited to make the 100 minute drive to fly non-stop without paying to park and dealing with long lines. A great destination at a world class airport!
Hopefully we can get another trip to giveaway soon. And thanks to everyone for entering the contest and watching Good Morning Quad Cities!
-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen