Prize Winner Shares Incredible Story

Prize Winner Shares Incredible Story

Winning the Library’s Let’s Go! Winter Reading’s Grand Prize was meant to be for Amy DeNeal and her family. A few days before leaving for a planned trip to The Great Wolf Lodge, DeNeal got an unexpected phone call saying they had won the Winter Reading program’s Grand Prize of a $500 Great Wolf Lodge gift card. While this seems almost too perfect, other circumstances haven’t always been for this family.


The DeNeal’s oldest son was born with very livable, but life-altering, differences. Primarily, he was born without ear canals, which is the way sound generally enters our ears. As you can imagine, this difference necessitates a lot of appointments, 5 major surgeries, hearing aids, and hundreds of hours of speech therapy. However that doesn’t stop their son from being just like any other kid! Amy assured us,“Despite and because of what he’s been through, he is a healthy, happy, resilient 6-year-old who is enjoying his year of kindergarten at Pleasant View Elementary.”

Last year was an especially big year for the DeNeal family. It included six round trips to California for their son’s three major surgeries and follow-up appointments. Along with other things, part of his recovery included not being able to swim for several months. While all of this travel, medical appointments, and restrictions may seem crazy exhausting, DeNeal told us “It was all VERY worth it!”


Booking the Trip

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of their son’s first big 2019 surgery and that he is now allowed to swim, Amy DeNeal determined it was time for a family get-away. She was inspired by the Library’s Winter Reading Grand Prize of a $500 gift card to Great Wolf Lodge. “I decided to go ahead and book a trip there, assuming we probably wouldn’t win, but hoping for the best.” So when she found out she won, she was overjoyed! “I about fell over when I got a call the Wednesday before our trip. It was definitely a serendipitous “what are the chances” kind of moment. Our kids were so ecstatic.” When the family arrived at the Library to pick up their gift card, each child presented the librarian with a handcrafted thank you card and everyone thanked the Librarians repeatedly.

The DeNeal family demonstrates what it means to be beautiful, strong, and optimistic. We are so happy they enjoyed their prize! We loved being able to hear their story, and we hope everyone is just as amazed as we were!


Photos and content were provided by Amy DeNeal.

More Winners

Additional Winter Reading prize winners include:

Charlotte D. – Village Merchant Prize Basket #1

Angela W. – Village Merchant Prize Basket #2

Shatara Sobers – Yard Sign Contest, $50 Amazon gift card