Two lucky winners were drawn on April 29 via Facebook Live for the highly-sought-after Taylor Swift concert tickets in a fundraising raffle that benefitted two local residents.

“The raffle turned out great,” said Trousdale County School Board member and raffle organizer Robert Atwood. “The biggest thing is that the gentleman who donated the tickets could have sold them, but instead, he chose to help two families in our small town. And two other lucky people are getting to go see Taylor Swift.”

The winners of the concert tickets were Lesley Overman and Amy Broyles.

Although Overman and Broyles won the tickets, the real winners were Annabelle Salyer, 3, and Vickie Thaxton, 58, as proceeds from the raffle were split between their two families to help cover medical expenses in their battles with cancer.

Salyer was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia and Thaxton with breast and bone cancer earlier this year.

“They need all of the hopes and prayers they can get,” said Atwood. “Hopefully, financially, we’ve helped lessen the load of that burden. They have more important things to take care of, and that’s their health, not money.

“If a person has never lived through it, they may not understand that fighting cancer is a very expensive thing.”

According to Broyles and Overman, lessening the financial burden for their neighbors was the motivating factor in buying the raffle tickets.

“The reason I bought the tickets is to help Miss Vickie,” said Broyles. “Miss Vickie is a customer of ours, and I’ve known her for years. I really thought I’d never win the tickets.”

Overman added, “My daughter wanted tickets to see Taylor Swift, but we thought it would be better to donate money and, hopefully, win tickets rather than spending a whole lot of money on tickets and not help anybody.”

Annabelle’s mother, Wendy Salyer, and Thaxton, both expressed their gratitude to the community that has given them so much support over the last several months.

“It’s really nice, and we appreciated it,” said Wendy Salyer. “We are just so appreciative of the help that everybody’s given to us. They’ve been very nice.”

Thaxton added, “I’m very excited for the winners and so glad that they won the tickets. I actually know both of the families who won. It’s just been wonderful how everybody’s helped me. I really appreciate it.”

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