This fan’s devotion rewarded
Lansing Even before Lansing resident Debbie Lavery entered a Kansas City radio station's Ultimate Brooks and Dunn fan contest, she knew she was going to win it.
Lavery had told her boss that she would need the afternoon of Oct. 28 off so she could meet the country music duo.
Lavery's husband, Jim, was less optimistic.
He had told her about the contest after listening to "The Morning Country Club," a radio show on KFKF-FM. They were going to pick two winners from the listening area who submitted essays about their love of Brooks and Dunn to meet and talk to Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn.
"The odds aren't very good for two people out of all of Kansas City to win," Jim said.
Debbie said her friends and co-workers at the VA Canteen services offices didn't think her odds were good either.
Despite others' lack of confidence in Lavery's ability to win the contest, she took her entry seriously. She deliberated over what she was going to say a couple of days before sending in her entry. She had no doubts in her loyalty as a fan.
"You could ask any of my family and friends and co-workers, and they would say I am Brooks and Dunn's ultimate fan without a doubt," Lavery said.
She has a wall of fame dedicated to Brooks and Dunn in her house. She has hung autographed memorabilia, a mural of Kix Brooks that a co-worker had painted for her and streamers and confetti from a Brooks and Dunn concert she had attended. A Brooks and Dunn license plate adorns her car, and she calls her car the Brooks and Dunn mobile.
"You would be hard-pressed to find such a loyal fan as me," Lavery said.
Lavery had seen Brooks and Dunn more than 20 times. Being a member of the Brooks and Dunn Fan Club afforded her the opportunity to meet and take a picture with the duo once previously, but her daughter accidentally overexposed the roll of film.
After that, Lavery became even more determined to meet the two.
"It was on my list of 10 things to do before I died," Lavery said.
Lavery stayed late at work Oct. 27 to listen to find out if her dream was going to come true. The radio station said it would announce the winner between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. The suspense increased when the station announced the other winner's name first. At 6:15 p.m., the station finally announced the second winner. It was Lavery.
When the time to meet the band finally came, Lavery was nervous, but she said Brooks and Dunn helped to calm her down. When they talked to her she said they were friendly and made her feel comfortable.
She and Jim spent about 45 minutes at the station with the band. After Brooks and Dunn signed autographs for them, Lavery had the opportunity to ask them a couple of questions during an on-air interview.
"I thought I was going to die right on the spot, I just loved every minute of it," Lavery said.
And she has her own coveted photos with the duo.
"I've always said I was Brooks and Dunn's ultimate fan," Lavery said. "Now I can prove it."