On taking chances, winning and making someone smile

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August 16, 2013

Who doesn’t love winning? As humans, it’s something that seems to be programmed into our DNA. Some of us are so focused on winning, it becomes a way of life (see: Olympic athletes).  But most of us are happy to walk away with a free scratch ticket or the door prize from our favorite fundraiser. And, more often than not, we think, “There’s no way I’m going to win” and so we don’t put our name in. So someone else, of course, does win. It can be downright disheartening, right?

Which is why the story behind the winner of our Breeze Through Europe contest makes us all feel like, well, winners. Gina Vaccarello is the lucky recipient of a $10,000 prize voucher from Phantom Screens – a voucher that includes a Uniworld European river cruise for two plus airfares. All the history, splendor and enchantment of Europe…just waiting to be explored!   

Gina and her husband, Paul, live in Ancaster, Ontario. They are the parents of two children, a son and a daughter in their 20s. The Vaccarellos live in a neighbourhood, rich in culture, with a wonderful sense of community. They built the house they’ve been living in 15 years ago, selecting all of the materials and finishes themselves. Gina proudly notes that she was the general contractor so, once they broke ground for the house, it only took six months to complete.  (We’re impressed!)

A close friend of Paul's recently built a house and, after its completion, Paul went over to see it and instantly fell in love with the newly installed Phantom Screens.  He decided he wanted two for his home, one off the kitchen leading to the deck, and the second from the den. Paul showed Gina the website and they talked about making the call to have an in-home estimate done.

A short time later, a Phantom Screens installer, Mike Campbell, happened to be in the area measuring a neighbour's home for a screen when Gina saw his truck. She had Mike come to the house to measure the two doors and, while he was there, he gave Gina the ballot and told her all about the cruise sweepstakes.  Gina told us she almost didn't enter, though, because "I never win anything, ever!"

"When I answered the phone and the gentleman on the other end told me I had won this contest, I almost didn't believe him,” says Gina. "Then he started describing the European River Cruise, and I remembered Phantom Screens and the cruise ballot I had entered. I called my husband right away and he was even more excited than I was!"

Gina and Paul have been on Caribbean cruises before, but never on a European river cruise.  They’re not sure where they’re going to go, but ports in Germany have caught their attention, as has wine country in France. Wherever they decide to go, we’ve no doubt they will be smiling the whole time. There will be many sweet moments for them as they Breeze Through Europe and we’re pleased that we were able to help make that experience happen for them. Bon voyage, Gina and Paul!

And maybe the next time, when there’s a contest and you’re thinking you won’t enter because you probably won’t win, just think of Gina. Take a chance. Because you just never know what might happen.