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Woman wins Amy Grant tickets after years of volunteer service

While stopped at a red light, Gail Lineberger learned her years of volunteer work had won her free tickets to an Amy Grant concert.
“I happened to have the radio on, so I heard Kathy talking about me,” Lineberger said.
Kathy Vinzant, director of the Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse, was discussing Lineberger’s years of volunteer work on WMIT, a Christian radio station.
That nomination earned both Lineberger and Vinzant four tickets each to see the Christian singer perform with a symphony orchestra.
After learning she won, Lineberger’s first instinct was to roll down her window.
“I wanted to tell the car next to me ‘It’s me!’” Lineberger said. “It was really funny to hear it that way.”
Lineberger, a graphic artist who works for Wachovia, had spent three years volunteering for the coalition making brochures, certificates and all manner of publicity for the non-profit organization.
“She’s very down to earth, very loving, wants to give back, wants to use her gifts for others,” said Vinzant.
The two women met during Denver Days, a festival where the coalition had set up a booth.
Lineberger stopped by to get some information, but had no other intentions.
“When I met (Vinzant), it was almost like I didn’t plan to volunteer, but my mouth started talking,” Lineberger said. “I kept thinking ‘Why am I saying this?’”
Lineberger, of course, is happy she chose to volunteer. The organization is now close to her heart.
“I just had a compassion for children,” she said. “Like anybody else, I hate any type of abuse or violence.”
By winning the radio contest, both women not only received four $75 tickets for free, they also won backstage passes to meet the singer.
Lineberger spent the night in a state of excitement, something Vinzant loved to see.
“She was a just a ball of energy,” Vinzant said. “That really was the highlight of the evening.”
When visiting Grant backstage, Lineberger brought along a special gift.
It was a book her 89-year-old mother had written entitled “Granny MaeBelle’s Painter.”
Lineberger, a fan of Grant’s show “Three Wishes,” hoped the singer would consider granting her wish on the program — to have her mother’s book published.
“I gave Amy Grant a copy and told her that was my wish,” Lineberger said.
Grant was “very receptive” to the idea and accepted a copy of the book, which Lineberger had helped her mother put together.
The book tells a true story comes from Lineberger’s mother’s childhood.
One day while walking through the woods to her grandmother’s house, she met up with a panther and had to make a running escape.
Because of her thick accent, the word “panther” also came out “painter.” Hence the title of the book.
“I always wondered what a painter was,” said Lineberger. “I just thought it was some monster in the woods.”
by Sarah Grano

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