While stopped at a red light, Gail Lineberger learned her years of volunteer work had won her free tickets to an Amy Grant concert.
â€œI happened to have the radio on, so I heard Kathy talking about me,â€ Lineberger said.
Kathy Vinzant, director of the Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse, was discussing Linebergerâ€™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, Linebergerâ€™s first instinct was to roll down her window.
â€œI wanted to tell the car next to me â€˜Itâ€™s me!â€™â€ Lineberger said. â€œIt was really funny to hear it that way.â€
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.
â€œSheâ€™s very down to earth, very loving, wants to give back, wants to use her gifts for others,â€ 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.
â€œWhen I met (Vinzant), it was almost like I didnâ€™t plan to volunteer, but my mouth started talking,â€ Lineberger said. â€œI kept thinking â€˜Why am I saying this?â€™â€
Lineberger, of course, is happy she chose to volunteer. The organization is now close to her heart.
â€œI just had a compassion for children,â€ she said. â€œLike anybody else, I hate any type of abuse or violence.â€
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.
â€œShe was a just a ball of energy,â€ Vinzant said. â€œThat really was the highlight of the evening.â€
When visiting Grant backstage, Lineberger brought along a special gift.
It was a book her 89-year-old mother had written entitled â€œGranny MaeBelleâ€™s Painter.â€
Lineberger, a fan of Grantâ€™s show â€œThree Wishes,â€ hoped the singer would consider granting her wish on the program â€” to have her motherâ€™s book published.
â€œI gave Amy Grant a copy and told her that was my wish,â€ Lineberger said.
Grant was â€œvery receptiveâ€ 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 Linebergerâ€™s motherâ€™s childhood.
One day while walking through the woods to her grandmotherâ€™s house, she met up with a panther and had to make a running escape.
Because of her thick accent, the word â€œpantherâ€ also came out â€œpainter.â€ Hence the title of the book.
â€œI always wondered what a painter was,â€ said Lineberger. â€œI just thought it was some monster in the woods.â€
by Sarah Grano