Gamewell student wins trip to Florida

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

Jerry Henline was speechless when Gamewell Elementary School's principal announced he had won a trip to Orlando. He went to the stage to pose with the giant ticket-shaped banner announcing his prize, and he was still stunned and too shy to say much after the awards ceremony Wednesday morning.

His aunt and guardian, Dawn Henline, said she and Jerry, a rising second-grader, moved here from Florida, and she had been promising they would take a trip to visit but they had never found the time. This will be the first time they have been back to Florida, she said. 

“I don’t know all the details, so I’m excited to find out all the details. It’s just a little surreal at the moment,” Henline said with tears in her eyes.

Jerry was chosen from about 31,000 students from around the country for filling out a SchoolMall booklet with addresses of family and friends. His teacher, Angie Meeks, also won a prize for his work, an iPad mini for her personal use.

“This is a wonderful student,” Meeks said. “We couldn’t ask for any nicer boy to have won this.”

Dawn Henline was flabbergasted when Gamewell Elementary administrators phoned her about a month to say her nephew had won the $5,000 trip.

“And when they said who they were, I said, ‘Oh no, what has Jerry done?’ And they said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ And I said, ‘No, do I need to? What’s he done?’” she said.

Since getting that call, she had trouble not bursting out with the news. She said she is looking forward to visiting Disney World and seeing family members. Jerry said he wants to meet Mickey Mouse, and packing swim trunks is a must.

“These are happy tears,” Jerry said with a wide smile.