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Working with children often instills great amounts of patience. Four Campbellsville Elementary School employees recently found that this persistence pays off.
After three years of daily phone calls and e-mails to Oprah's audience department, Lisa Cowherd, Sharon Mills, Gloria Smith and Becky Wood obtained tickets to be members of the studio audience of the Oprah Winfrey show.
"I had the number programmed into my phone and would repeatedly press it all day," said Sharon Mills, who explained that the line for tickets was always busy.
"Tickets are free," she said, "so they are extremely hard to get."
The women finally received a response to one of their numerous e-mails, informing them that they had four tickets to the show. Three years of waiting left the group with less than a week's notice, although they gladly dropped everything and left town, "blowing the horn and cheering all the way down the street," according to Wood.
Once at the studio, Wood's cheers mingled with tears of excitement at the first sight of Oprah. "Everyone else was screaming and clapping, but I just cried," Wood said. "It was my dream finally come true."
The group sat for two consecutive tapings, which aired March 12 and 26. The first featured guests David Cassidy along with the Cosby Kids. The second spotlighted Rick Springfield and Henry Winkler.
In true Oprah style, the women left bearing numerous gifts.
Each sports a new pink Sprint Palm cell phone, equipped with three months of paid coverage.
"I call it my O-phone," Cowherd said.
They each also received CDs of both David Cassidy and Rick Springfield, a book by Henry Winkler and a Happy Days gift set.
Although they enjoyed the gifts from Oprah, the ladies were most thrilled by the gift of the experience.
"We had such a good time, we were so excited," Mills said. "You know just about everybody would like to see Oprah."
Though the value of three years' patience finally paid off, Wood says she can't help but be a bit eager for more.
"I'm ready to go back already," she said. "I can't wait."
- Laura Chandler is a student at the University of Kentucky.