Tickets won in auction turn into generous gift by couple

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Amy Schoenbeck, 22, of Ellis Grove, Ill., is going to be in the front row after all.

After a 4 a.m. journey for prime tickets went awry the day Kenny Chesney's concert tickets went on sale, Schoenbeck got lucky recently when a couple she frequently serves at a buffet restaurant handed her front-row tickets.

But they weren't just any front-row tickets.

They were $1,220 back-stage passes bought on an auction on semissourian.com to help raise money for a police dog for the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

Schoenbeck and her friend, Jessica Tindall, 23, are both huge Chesney fans. They intended to get first-rate tickets by getting in line early -- they were 20th in line -- but little did they know that the tickets were sold on a lottery system and not on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Schoenbeck drew a number in the 200s and left the Show Me Center disappointed.

She is disappointed no longer.

"This was the nicest thing in the world," Schoenbeck said of the generous gesture.

Dave and Bernette Arndt, of Belleville, Ill., have grown close to Schoenbeck in the five years she has worked at Reids Harvest House.

She said she writes the couple, but was stunned at the generous gift.

"I know them, but not that good," she said. "They said I'm worth it."

Several attempts to reach the Arndts Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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