Driving home from school, Anderson University student Haley Burger, a junior from Lafayette, Ind., began “jamming out” to the radio as part of her daily routine. In between songs, the radio host announced a chance to win tickets to the Carrie Underwood concert in Noblesville, Ind. Pushing it to the back of her mind, it was four days later when Burger remembered the sweepstakes and decided to enter.
All she had to do was “like” RTV6 and HANK FM on Facebook and submit her information on HANK FM’s website. After entering, she had little expectation of winning and shifted focus back to classes and work. Burger is a communication arts major and serves as a conference assistant at Reardon Auditorium. Six days later, she received a phone call saying she was one of several finalists for the sweepstakes and needed to submit a phone number.
“The winner would be announced on RTV6, right before the broadcast of the Country Music Awards,” said Burger. “I watched the special and couldn’t believe it when my photo appeared on the screen. I was in shock. I didn’t think anyone ever won sweepstakes or contests like this.”
As soon as Burger’s picture appeared on the screen, screaming and excitement filled the room and her residence hall.
The prize she won included two tickets to Carrie Underwood’s concert on Nov. 24, a meet-and-greet backstage pass, a copy of Underwood’s new album, and an autographed guitar from Underwood and Brad Paisley.
Burger invited her roommate, Morgin Imel, a junior from Ossian, Ind., to take the other ticket and accompany her to the concert. Imel had been with her when the winner was announced.
“I was really excited for her all day,” said Imel. “We watched the CMA's together, linked arms, and screamed when she was announced. I was so excited for her and the opportunity she was given."
The day of the concert, the pair arrived early for the meet-and-greet. As Burger and Imel stood in line to meet Underwood, they observed music videos playing on a TV and candles representing the “Blown Away” tour. Excited but nervous, Burger exchanged small talk with Underwood and asked Underwood if she had any beauty secrets and tips.
Following the meet-and-greet, the concert began with country singer Hunter Hayes. Next, Underwood entered and started her performance, which Burger said included giant beach balls, confetti, and a flying stage.
“Part of the stage actually hooked to the ceiling,” said Imel. “In the middle of the concert, the stage rose up and moved around the building. That was the best part of the night. Also, before the meet-and-greet, we had a lot of fun getting ready, waiting in line, and joking about what we should ask her.”
The night is sure to stand out in both Burger and Imel’s minds for a long time.
“This memory will stay with me forever,” said Burger. “I had her sign my ticket, and I plan to frame it so I will always remember it.”
— Jonathon Hosea is a senior from New Castle, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in peace and conflict transformation. Hosea is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.