A young girl won an essay contest by writing that her father had bravely perished in the War on Terror. It’s difficult to know whether it was the quality of the writing or that her dad was dead that resulted in the top prize.
An essay that won a 6-year-old girl four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert began with the powerful line: “My daddy died this year in Iraq.”
And winning the contest must have taken the young tyke and her mommy by surprise.
The saga began Friday with company officials surprising the girl at a Club Libby Lu at a mall in suburban Garland, about 20 miles northeast of Dallas. The girl won a makeover that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig, as well as the grand prize: airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., and four tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert on Jan. 9.
Imagine the excitement! Isn’t this a heartwarming tale during the Christmas season?
The mother had told company officials that the girl’s father died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq, company spokeswoman Robyn Caulfield said.
What an amazing sacrifice. It’s men like her daddy that make this country great! But that’s not the end of the story.
While gripping, it was not true — and now the girl may lose her tickets after her mom acknowledged to contest organizers it was all a lie.
“We did the essay and that’s what we did to win,” Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. “We did whatever we could do to win.”
She had identified the soldier as Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, but the Department of Defense has no record of anyone with that name dying in Iraq. Caulfield said the mother has admitted to the deception.
“We regret that the original intent of the contest, which was to make a little girl’s holiday extra special, has not been realized in the way we anticipated,” said Mary Drolet, the CEO of Club Libby Lu.
Drolet said the company is reviewing the matter, and is considering taking away the girl’s tickets.
I certainly hope so. Maybe they can strike up a deal with this family of liars. If daddy is successful in getting himself killed in Iraq in the next 30 days, they can keep the tickets.