First off, I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my last post about Casey. Because of all the feedback, it caught the attention of the people at Victoria's Secret, who posted this comment on that very entry yesterday afternoon:
Hi, I'm Jennifer with Victoria's Secret. Like all of you, our team of contest organizers have also been inspired by Casey. Unfortunately, the contest did not turn out like any of us planned. Due to illegal voting by a few cheaters, the contest had to be ended. As a result, an independent panel of judges was asked to select to winners randomly from the top 50 vote getters. Here's the rest of the story:
1. The judges selected two individuals, Jillian and Charis, who have their own inspiring stories and outlooks on life:
A. Jillian’s story – “I have always been the biggest critic of myself, both inside and out. When I suffered 3rd degree burns in a kitchen fire 2 years ago, ended up in ICU for 7 days and had to have skin graft surgery, it changed so much about me. I realized the true definition of gratitude. The scars on my arms and hands have now just become a tattoo that I proudly wear to represent how brave I never realized I am.”
B. Charis’s story – “I love my body because it's MY body, no one else has it & there's no other body like it. I embrace my shape, my curves, & I carry myself as so. Because I'm confident in the way that I walk & stand & carry myself, it makes my body look beautiful. God gave me this body therefore I'm going to show off every inch of it in the most respectful and beautiful way. I LOVE MY BODY because it's ALL MINE!”
2. As I said, we were moved by Casey and the outpouring of support she received. Legally, we weren't allowed to add Casey as another winner. However, the organizers have rallied to honor Casey not only with a gift card but also a trip to New York complete with hotel, spa visit and dinner for two.
I am sorry for the confusion and disappointment that this unfortunate circumstance has caused. If anyone would like to discuss, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 937-438-4180.
Casey -- you truly are an inspiration and we applaud your strength.
In my original post about Casey, I said that it's not often you get the chance to make a positive difference to someone's life with a mere click of a mouse. Thanks to you guys, and thousands of other good folks on the blogosphere who did way more than a simple click, I'd say we made a difference.
I don't know about you, but I feel more than a little chuffed.
So cheers, dferguson, whose original link about Casey is what got me interested in trying to help her win the contest in the first place, and all you lovely people out there who voted and/or encouraged others to vote. We done good!
Casey, I hope you enjoy the heck out of your trip to New York, and get well soon!