The Early Show's Dave Price talks with "Great American Vacation" recipient Jodi Oehlke, center, and her mother, Judy, in Springfield, Mo. In her letter to The Early Show, Judy Oehlke cited her daughter's work ethic and generosity as a volunteer who has little time for a vacation of her own. The radio DJ received trips to Chicago & Cairo in a King Tut-themed giveaway.
Cruise To Alaska
The Early Show's Dave Price announces another "Great American Vacation" winner in Johnson City, Tenn., on June 9, 2006. Unsuspecting assistant fire chief Mark Finucane, right, received a surprise cruise to Alaska thanks to a letter from his wife, Mary, center, about the dedicated firefighter.
Sheila Irvin wrote to The Early Show about her sister, Eva Braughn, center. In her letter, Irvin described Braughn as a hard worker and a busy mom and wife of a deployed soldier. Braughn was surprised with a family trip to Oahu, Hawaii, during the June 14, 2006, giveaway in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
'What Happens in Vegas...'
Dave Price surprises Judy Schneider at the Washington Perk coffee shop in Quincy, Ill., on June 16, 2006. The Early Show received letters from 12 people at Quincy's Blessing Hospital about their co-worker, who embodies the spirit of giving and of the hospital. To mark her retirement after 47 years at the hospital, Schneider is headed to Las Vegas and a front-row seat to see Celene Dion.
Following her "Great American Vacation" trip to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion's A New Day... and stay at Caesars Palace, Judy Schneider shared this photo from her trip with The Early Show. Here she poses with Dion, whose concert the Quincy, Ill., retiree enjoyed from the front row!
Rick Reger, left, a hard-working farmer from the Minneapolis area, was rewarded with a surprise vacation to Scottsdale, Ariz., during the vacation giveaway on June 21, 2006, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. "I hate to see my husband work so and not enjoy life," Lisa Reger told to The Early Show. "I know the farm means a great deal to Rick, and my husband means a great deal to me."
Space Center Vacation
Nominated by her co-workers, Kathy Sandford was surprised with a vacation getaway on June 23, 2006, in Fargo, N.D. Sandford, husband Dave and son Cole are headed to Cocoa Beach, Fla., and the Kennedy Space Center. They also received a NavOne 4500 GPS system for their car.
Hitting The Road
Dave Price hoards delicious Stroopwafels made by "Great American Vacation" recipients Judy and Jan Boogman, on June 28, 2006, in Billings, Mont. Nominated by their daughter Saskia, the hard-working couple will be forced to take a break: a two-week getaway in a luxury Winnebago with stays at KOA Kampgrounds.
Pink Sands of Bermuda
Spokane's Joyce Bergman was brought to tears when Dave Price announced she was the recipient of a trip to Bermuda on June 30, 2006. The newly-retired elementary school teacher's assistant told Price that she has never been anywhere except Idaho and Seattle and that she had never flown before.
Hawaii's Big Island
Thanks to a letter to The Early Show from Katy Ybarra, left, her husband, Sgt. Joe Salinas, center, was surprised on July 5, 2006, with a trip to Hawaii's Big Island. "It's very humbling. I'm overwhelmed," Salinas told Dave Price, who minutes earlier had handcuffed himself to the Yakima, Wash., police officer in attempt to go along on the trip.
Vacation recipients Matthew McDonnell, left, Daniel Sackett, second from left, and two more childhood friends will be spending some much-deserved vacation time in the Florida Keys. The four young men all enlisted together after high school and, thankfully, all returned home from service safely. They were nominated by Sackett's mother, Maryanne, second from right, and were surprised in Portland, Ore., on July 7, 2006.
On July 12, 2006, Richard and Chris Christensen, center, traveled to Salt Lake City for a meeting ... or so they thought. This deserving couple, who have battled medical and financial hardships, were surprised with a trip to Seattle to attend a family wedding. Susan Peart, second from left, nominated her brother and his wife.
Kiawah Island, S.C.
There are many people deserving of a special surprise for all they do. But a letter from Toya Daugenbaugh, left, about her mother, Jo Stevens, center, was especially touching. Surrounded by her family on July 14, 2006, in Denver, Stevens learned that she's headed to Kiawah Island, S.C. Daughback said her mother has made many sacrifices for her family and has never had the chance to travel.
Going To Disney!
Orlando/Orange County CVB president William Peeper was on hand at Austin's Auditorium Shores Park on July 19, 2006, to invite Darla Evans, her son Ian, and two friends to Walt Disney World. Margie Malone wrote in about Evans, a single mom who she described as an exceptional person -- a lovely woman who gives of herself to her community. "Her tireless energy continues to beautify Austin," Malone said.
Ronnie and Sandie Paris, who just celebrated their 30th anniversary, will start the next chapter of their lives on an exciting Caribbean cruise. Their daughter, Anniesa, second from left, wrote to The Early Show about the sacrifices her parents have made for their children and grandchildren. "They've always made sure me and my sister had whatever we wanted," she said on July 21, 2006, in Waco, Texas.
Lee Pittman, right, nominated Becky and Keith Frey for a "Great American Vacation." Pittman said even though the newlyweds were displaced from New Orleans, they focused on helping others after Hurricane Katrina, even losing out on their honeymoon. To say thanks and reward their good deeds, they were surprised with a romantic getaway to Sonoma, Calif., on July 26, 2006, during the giveaway in Baton Rouge, La.
Putting on The Ritz
Saying her mother-in-law was in need of "big-time fun," Michele James, second from left, nominated Patricia James, second from right, for a surprise getaway. During The Early Show's final vacation giveaway on July 28, 2006, in Little Rock, Ark., Patricia learned she and her husband, David, are headed for a luxurious trip to to Miami, Fla., and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.