Panora Couple Enjoys “Trip of a Lifetime” to Winter Olympics

March 10, 2014 6:33 am

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imagesNot everyday does somebody win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Winter Olympics, but that’s exactly what happened for one Guthrie County couple this year.

Scott and Joyce Calmer of Panora, won a trip package valued at more than $26,000 to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia by simply using their Guthrie County State Bank VISA debit card at a Hilton property last year.

When he first learned back in December that he and his wife had won the trip, Scott says he thought he was being toyed with.

“Mike Underwood at the Guthrie County State Bank called us in and told us we won this trip, and I’m like, ‘you’re kidding right?’.  I’d never won anything, and he goes, ‘you’re going to Russia,’ and I’m like, ‘Russia… who wants to go to Russia?’.  Because it was long before they’d started to advertise the Olympics there.  Then he goes, ‘no, no–it’s for the Olympics,’ and then I thought, ‘oh, that’s pretty cool’.”


Photo Courtesy of Ann Appleseth

Underwood, who is the President and CEO of Guthrie County State Bank, says delivering the news to the Calmers gave him great enjoyment, and since he’s involved in the small community banking world, Underwood describes what it was like for someone associated with his bank to win such an incredible trip.

“It was very neat from the standpoint of, professionally, you get to actually say, ‘hey, you have won this VISA worldwide contest’.  In our industry, we receive this information quite often that “so-and-so” in California won this trip, or somebody in Texas won it, but to actually have a customer of yours win a trip of this scale was great.”

Though he didn’t get to experience the Winter Games for himself, Underwood says he did live vicariously through the Calmers during their trip to Russia by following their activities on social media like the rest of town.

For Scott, who self-proclaimed he and Joyce’s visit to Russia as the “trip of a lifetime,” there were many unforgettable memories made by just being at the Olympics, but one sticks out in particular, and it came after the U.S. men’s hockey team defeated the host Russians.

“All the Americans gathered around the NBC stage outside of the hockey stadium and everybody was chanting, ‘U.S.A.’, and just the friendship and people from all over the United States that come together just to back our country–people you’ve never seen before befriending everybody and talking, enjoying the win in the Olympics–it was just… I’m getting goosebumps here just thinking about it.  It was really cool–that will probably be my biggest memory.”

To hear Scott recap he and his wife’s Sochi Olympic experience in full detail, tune-in to today and tomorrow’s Let’s Talk Guthrie County programs on K107 during the 9am, noon and 5pm hours.

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