Vacation turns into dream come true

Linda Moody Features Editor

January 2, 2014

GREENVILLE - A Darke County mother and daughter, Linda (Monnin) Spahr of Versailles and Misty L. Werling of Greenville, were among many audience members who brought home gifts from Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show and more specifically during the 12 Days of Giveaways at Christmas time.

They, along with Spahr’s cousin, Elaine Hannan Yard of California, were on the Dec. 12 show, at which all audience members each received five $500 gift certificates from J.C. Penney’s.

The two local women’s adventure actually began after the two women booked their tickets this past June.

Spahr, a reflexologist, decided she needed a vacation to California and asked her daughter to go along.

“She [Misty] said, ‘Mom, I can’ afford it,’ and I said it would be my treat,” Spahr recalled. “I thought the trip would be good for her and me. She’s going through a divorce.”

So, the plans began forming. In October, they went out to visit Yard in Los Angeles, 15 minutes from Burbank.

“Elaine had asked what we wanted to do while there and I said one of the things we’d love is to get on the Ellen show,” Spahr said. “Elaine kept sending in requests for tickets, and three weeks before were were to leave, we got a call from the Ellen show.”

While in Ellen’s audience in October, the talk show host invited the entire audience to come back to one of her giveaway shows.

At the first show, Spahr, Werling and Yard each received a Despicable Me 2 DVR, and a CD of Keith Urban, who was on the show that day.

“It was nail-biting,” said Werling of that first show. “It was a lifetime opportunity to be on the show with Ellen. Keith Urban was there and so were two firefighters, who had put out a fire and rescued two month-old puppies. They got the toxins out of their lungs and brought them back.”

According the two women, Ellen presented each fire station with $10,000 to buy equipment for pets to keep on the firetrucks, then she gave the audience members each a $100 Petco card.

“There were 175 people in the audience,” Spahr said. ” That’s when she invited us all back.”

Werling said they were also given necklaces for Breast Cancer Awareness.

“I gave my Petco gift card to my grandpets,” Spahr said.

The show once again contacted Spahr and Werling in November, giving them the choice of two days they could be guests once again on the Ellen Show. They chose Dec. 12.

They were excited, and Werling said they could feel the vibes from walking in the parking garage all the way into the studio. The two local women and Yard received a number and were seated.

“This time, we were right in the middle,” Spahr said. “We had the most awesome seats.”

“Everybody acted like they knew everybody,” said Werling, who has two children, Grace, 11, and Evan, 2.

“It’s a different atmosphere, not like here. It was fast-paced,” Spahr said.

When they attended their second Ellen show, they each won five $500 gift certificates from JC Penney’s on that day’s giveaway.

Contestants on the 11 other days received such gifts as trips, cruises and electronics.

“That helped with Christmas,” said Werling, who said she bought a lot of her children’s gifts with those cards.

Both women were also happy to see the guest that day, Tyler Perry.

“We’re still pinching ourselves,” Spahr said. “We can’t believe it.”

“Ellen stayed on the stage the whole time,” Werling said. “She was really connected to the audience.”

They said there were 275 people in the audience on Dec. 12.

Each time, they went to California, they spent five days there, going to Hollywood, seeing Rodeo Drive and riding on a tour bus that showed them where the stars lived. A couple more highlights of their trip was visiting a wax museum and the Bubba Gump Restaurant.

A memorable 2013.