The folks who win are usually very excited. Most have never been in a helicopter and for me that's the kicker. I get a charge flying with folks for their first flight in a rotary wing.
We have been doing this for the past 3 fairs and have flown scores of first-time fliers. But the winner from last week is the one I shall always remember. I cannot possibly tell her story and give it justice. So here is an email she sent to me and she tells it so well in her own words.
"I'm going to tell you a story about my faith in God and my thanks to CTV news. Today, I was not feeling well, my spirit was broken, I counted my pennies once again to pay bills, still not enough in the end to cover every bill, but yet, I wanted to go to the Pacific National Exhibition, so off I went, Broken and sad, I got to the PNE, I paid my fare to get into the PNE, and thanking the creator for blessing me.
As I walked along the fair grounds, I looked at all the rides, wanting so much to go on them, to experience them and to have fun alone. You see I have never really experienced any rides in my life; I always had too low self esteem and felt too fat to go on a rides.
I had enough to buy my foot long hotdog, mini donuts and a sprite, as I sat in the blazing sun, feeling like a kid, eating foot long hotdog and slurping frozen sprite, enjoying the midway screams, and relishing the smells of cotton candy, drinking in the flavors of the carnival, it was if I was a kid let loose, and it felt good.
Ah! I felt like skipping down the midway runway, among the crowd, still slurping frozen sprite, and wanting to get lost among the sea of humans, not a care in the world. As I approach the rides and still a glimmer of hope sits upon my heart, really wanting to go on the rides.
I watch as people wave frantically at cameras, I get into a line up at the CTV booth for a free picture with Pamela Martin, except it really isn't a picture taken with her, but with a photo of her, as I leave I am asked to enter into a draw to ride in the CTV News Chopper Nine Helicopter. I think nothing of it as I fill out the form and drop it into the barrel among thousands of others.
I continued on my way, admiring how handsome and good looking Bill Good is, looking at Pamela Martin as she makes ready herself for the six o'clock news, I watch the crowd waving at the cameras, making silly gestures, and funny faces. I enjoy the silliness of others and snicker to myself as I find a seat in the shade, where I could watch the rides and wonder if I had the money to ride them, will I have the nerve to get on them, or would I once again let fear take over me and let me never experience the rides I truly want to experience.
I never thought any more of the ballot I filled out to ride on the Chopper, as I sat watching people, they started calling names out for prizes, they called many names, people fill out ballots and leave, they were going to call about the twentieth name, when I got up and started walking up the hill.
All of a sudden I heard, Sylvia Isaac are you here, I started screaming and fighting my way through the crowd, I'm here! I'm here! I'm here. They called my name to ride in the chopper, I was alone, I needed to bring a friend with me to qualify, so I grabbed a woman out of the crowd, I told her she was going with me.
I was in disbelief all the way to the chopper, I felt so blessed, God knew I couldn't afford a ride at the Midway, so he gave me a ride that was an envy to all, as we rose above the earth, over towards the north shore mountains, over the ocean and along the city. I felt like a royalty, being given royal treatment, to see the city high above in a bird's eye view was something out of this world, a blessing that only a Creator could give someone like me, that is poor in pocket, but rich in spirit.
As I walked along the midway on my way home after the chopper ride, people were coming up to me and shaking my hand, congratulating me for winning a prize so wonderful. I rode the bus home, Thanking God for the blessing. And remembering a little prayer always turns into a great big reward for those who have faith."
Written By Sylvia Sharon Isaac August 29 2007