Chana White didn’t want to get out of her car when she and husband, Kevin, pulled up to Denver Hunt and Company on Monday afternoon.
She was one of four finalists in the Man Cave Giveaway promotion, and it was just minutes from the announcement of who the winner of the $12,500 renovation would be.
She left happy, learning from Denver Hunt marketing and sales director Joe Lambert that she had come out on top in the public Internet voting.
“You have no idea how nervous I was,” Chana White said. “We pulled up, and I did not want to get out of the car. We were convinced we had a nice concession prize waiting for us. We were prepared to lose. I told our children, ‘We’re healthy, We have a good home. Win or lose, we are going to have a party,’”
The Whites, 1412 Lincolnshire Drive, Maryville, will now work with Denver Hunt and Man Cave Giveaway partners of Games and Things, Ledbetter Electronics, Gillenwater Flooring Center and Anderson Lumber to design Kevin’s dream “Man Cave” in their home.
“We had no idea where we stood,” said Kevin White. “We thought we could be first or last.”
Chana White worked the contest with zeal. She said they sent out post cards, printed out slips of paper with their name on it along with the Man Cave website address and passed them out, asking folks they knew and didn’t know to vote for them. “I handed them out to everyone,” said Chana, “and the kids took them to school.” The Whites four daughters attend Sam Houston School, Maryville Intermediate School, Maryville High School and Pellissippi State.
The ripple effect worked for the Whites, as people they asked in person or through social networking passed the word on to others.
When the announcement was made, Chana and Kevin White said they were surprised. “I was fighting back tears. I had to take a breath, walk off and compose myself. I am so happy for my girls and my husband,” Chana said.
Kevin said he was thankful to Denver Hunt and all the promotion sponsors for the great prize. “I was overwhelmed to come in first. When they called our name, I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “We have been putting off doing something with that room, and then this came along, and we decided to enter. We felt fortunate to be finalists.”
Lambert said he and Denver Hunt and Denver’s son Jamie Hunt had been discussing doing a local version of what Lambert said he had seen on the Do-It-Yourself television network. The Man Cave Giveaway was a good way to get the word out that Denver Hunt Company can transform a room in anyone’s home into a Man Cave, Lambert said.
In order to be successful, Lambert said, the promotion involved recruiting partners such as Blount Today, Anderson Lumber Co., Gillenwater Flooring Center, Ledbetter Electronics, Games and Things and ESPN Radio.
“It took everyone’s contribution to make this a great contest,” Lambert said.
After 100 individuals entered the contest on paper or on the website by explaining in 250 words or less why they should win and what space they would renovate, the entrants were narrowed down to four finalists. The finalist then starred in their own video that was accessed through the Blount Today website. The public could vote for their favorite, with one vote per computer address.
While the winner got the main prize of the $12,500 Man Cave room renovation at their home, the other three runners up left with gifts and discounts from each of the promotion partners.
“This has been fun, and I thank all of the participants and our partners,” said Lambert. “We couldn’t have done it without you all. We wish everyone could be a winner. Each of you did a great job.”
The videos were filmed and produced for Blount Today by Craig Brown.
After the Whites were announced as winners, Denver Hunt was ready to move ahead with the project. “We’ll start by visiting, looking at concepts and seeing if we can achieve some of their goals in a Man Cave,” Hunt said. “I look forward to working with them and trying to come up with a good design and seeing the project completed.”
Blount Today will follow the progress of the Man Cave Giveaway renovation online and in the paper.
Fourth place in the contest went to Michael “Keith” Buckner, 3324 Cove Point Drive, Louisville.
“My stomach was turning pretty good when we pulled up. It was a lot to win,” he said. “We could not believe we were one of the final four, and now we can’t believe we lost.”
Buckner was at the event with his wife, Katie, and their 11-month-old daughter, Isabella. “I’ve been nervous since they announced the finalists,” she said. “I am relieved it is over.”
Jason Hughes, 31 Water Lily Lane, Maryville, came in third place. “I never expected it,” he said of being a finalist. His girlfriend Heather Tipton encouraged him to sign up. “She was on me for weeks to enter, and the night before the deadline, we filled it out,” he said.
Tipton said she always enters contests. “I’ve entered a lot of contests, but I’ve never been a finalist,” she said.
Hughes said he worked for two weeks getting word out to friends to vote. “I was nervous. I’m a I.T. recruiter. I had people voting from India and Beijing, China, but I had a feeling White would be tough to beat with four daughters,” he said.
Kevin Kirkland, 247 Merganser Lane, Maryville, placed second in the contest. He said he, too, was nervous about the announcement. “I was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs,” he said.
Kirkland said the contest was a blessing for he and his wife, Rachel, as they reached each out to friends they haven’t contacted in a while to ask for their votes.
“We were just glad to be in it, even though we didn’t win it,” said Kirkland. “My heart was racing 200 beats a minute.”
Rachel Kirkland said her husband didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. “I threatened to make him move in with his mom until this was done,” she said. “It’s good to know we did as well as we did.”
Kirkland, who owns a Shelter Insurance agency in Alcoa, and his wife were happy to be a finalist. He and Rachel enjoyed the reception with their children, 4-year-old twins Lauren and Caroline and 10-year-old son Hunter. “I was excited,” Hunter said. “I told all my school friends to vote.”
Consolation prizes included gift cards to Cracker Barrel restaurant, Gillenwater Flooring Center, the Tennessee Smokies baseball team, Ledbetter Electronics and a set of poker chips and materials from Games and Things.