Help us Break a Tie and Select a Staycation Winner

The winner will get a one night stay at Sheraton Carlsbad and dinner at Twenty/20.

asking people to say why they deserved a "staycation." The best comment would win a stay at and dinner at . 

After adding up our judges' votes, there was a two-way tie. Please take a minute to read more about the two semi-finalists and help us select a lucky winner.

The choices are:

1- Marine Wife Ashley Gehringer who wants to surprise her husband.

Hi there, 
My name is Ashley and my husband is Mark. We have a two year old son. I have been with my Marine for 4 years as of April 24th and we have yet to take our first "vacation". He is always working with a hectic schedule and we never seem to find the time or money to even have a "staycation". Unfortunately, we haven't even been on a honeymoon. I am a stay-at-home mom and have been the past 3 years due to our son. I have been constantly asking him about trying to make up for a honeymoon by having a small romantic "staycation". I can honestly say that we would enjoy the pool area and possibly a couples spa treatment. We would not only consider this a "late wedding gift" or anniversary gift but we would also consider it to be the best Mother's day treat as well. We have a 3lb chihuahua that would also joining us on this wonderful day. I feel that my husband deserves this way more than I do. I think even one night away from "home" would relieve a lot of stress off of all of us and be able to relax and have a good time. It is sad that we live in California and we do not get to enjoy it as much as we would like to due to money issues. We also both go to College. He is studying for Criminal Justice to become a Police Officer, while my disability of being deaf is not stopping me from becoming a CAD and Design Technology major. I think my Marine and son deserve to have a great time without the stress of finances.


2- Gwen Lauren Meitchik who would like to give the prize to Debralyn Day, a community volunteer who puts others before herself. 

While I would LOVE to win a mini "Staycation"...there is a member of our community who could really benefit from having the opportunity to "refill her cup" by being treated to a special night away. She is truly an Angel in Carlsbad - established a non-profit to help those dealing with illness (physical and mental) with the challenges of daily living. She helps our local Seniors, local kids and families here, there and everywhere. She does all of these things quietly and with grace all while dealing with some of her own challenges at home. Despite having had a year filled with personal loss and difficulties, she continues to dedicate her time, money and energy to others. She is a local hero and this would be a wonderful gift to her from the town she calls home!

Who should win the staycation? Tell us in comments and vote once in the poll. Voting starts Monday May 7 and ends Thursday May 10 at 5 p.m.

laura battaglini May 08, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I would like to vote for Ashley & Mark. They have been together since their teenage years, and definitely deserve to spend some quality time together. I wish them both luck!
Jordan May 08, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Ashley and mark deserve this more than ever. These two are one of the most respectful couples out there and they both are hard workers when it comes to anything.
Jennie May 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I would like to place my vote for ashley and mark =) go ash and mark =) good luck
Jennie May 08, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Well I thought posted a comment here was voting so can anyone tell me where to go to vote lol
Tricia May 08, 2012 at 05:01 PM
My vote is for Debralyn! She has been a faithful friend & community supporter as long as I’ve known her! We met when I was adopting my daughter from Russia. Debralyn is a proud SAHM of two sisters which she & her husband adopted from Russia when they were toddlers. She helped me with the process and more importantly, the transition home. I think all adoptive parents know that the support of fellow adoptive parents is critical & Debralyn has been that key supporter for me & my family. I also witness her involvement with fundraising for Rady's Children's Hospital & A Bridge for Friends, a organization that she founded in order to support local families (& their caregivers) going through medical issues & other hardships. Debralyn routinely organizes events (inc events at her own home) so she can help others going through hard times. A couple of projects that I know she is particularly proud of is delivering warm socks to teenagers at Rady’s Children’s Hospital & assisting families & seniors through their transition from their homes into assisted living or nursing homes. Here's the amazing thing. Debralyn has done all of this while her own family has been impacted by the slow economy, medical situations (not going to elaborate due to privacy) & helping her close friends deal with health issues, including terminal diseases. She is always thinking of others (often before herself) & how she can help them. I hope that Debralyn wins so I can see her treat herself to a day off!
Brigette mills May 08, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Ashley and mark deserve to win more than anyone. Not because she is my niece but because of how they handle everything. It is hard enough to be a wife and mother but she is more than that . She is a military wife and is hearing impaired not to mention she is so far away from home . She takes it with pride and dose it with a beautiful smile on her face. Mark and Ashley sacrifice everything for something they believe in with their whole hearts, with no regrets
Kristy Layne May 08, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Go Ashley :*)....
Gwen Lauren Meitchik May 08, 2012 at 06:09 PM
First of all, thank you to the Sheraton for considering Debralyn Day as a potential winner of this wonderful contest! I just want to share a little more background about Debra (for those in the community who may not be aware of who this angel is!). Debra is the founder of A Bridge for Friends (www.abridgeforfriends.com), was twice the Co-Chair for the Rady’s Children's Hospital Auxillary and is an active volunteer with several Assisted Living Residences. She is also a SAHM to her two daughters (her 'surfer' and her 'cowgirl') who were lovingly adopted from a Russian orphanage when the girls were 2 and 3 years old. In addition to all she usually does, she has, with a heavy heart, been spending quality time over the past few weeks with the young woman who was the inspiration for A Bridge for Friends. Following a long and courageous journey, this young and talented woman, Trycia, passed from breast cancer this past Saturday. After hearing about this contest yesterday, Debra’s first thought was that this prize would allow her to invite Trycia’s Mom to join her for this night away...just amazing timing. Debra is not in a financial position to treat herself to a 'Staycation' and winning a contest would most likely be the only way Deb would actually take some well deserved time for herself. Supporting Debra, a true local hero, is quite a testament to Carlsbad and the amazing people who make our town so incredibly special.
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
aww thanks Brittney!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Thank you so much Tasha!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Thank you Melissa!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:53 PM
aww that was very sweet, Thank you Melissa!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Aww Thanks sis! love you
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Thank you so much, Laura!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Thanks Jay!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Thank you, Aunt Brig! I love you!! it was very nice of you to say something [=
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Thank you so much, Kristy!
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I would also like to thank the Sheraton for considering Us as well. I think regardless of who wins, I hope that the Sheraton will accept both myself and Mrs. Debralyn. I do not think that one merely deserves it more than the other. I think that we both have our own sorts of sacrifices and that we both deserve the time away. I am actually surprised it has came this far for us. It is a blessing to be a finalist as is Debralyn. I wish Debralyn the best of luck and really hope they consider both of us.
Gwen Lauren Meitchik May 08, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Ashley - I just sent an e-mail to the Editor with the very same sentiments! The joy in originally entering this contest has been diminished by the thought that one of you being chosen means the other loses out - especially when it is clear that the Sheraton, based on their own criteria and their own votes, decided that you are both deserving of a Staycation! This "tie breaker" has become a contest of "good versus good" rather than simply a celebration of both of you! Carlsbad is such a wonderful place to live and raise a family - while we have wonderful parks and beaches and great weather, it is really the joyful, warm hearted and caring people that make this such a special place to be! Your family and Debralyn's certainly demonstrate that. I think the Sheraton should recognize both of you as well.
Dawn connell May 08, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I vote for Ashley and Mark they deserve it
debra day May 08, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Your message is so meaningful to me...no matter what my work continues each day as a quiet angel to help the surviving warriors who are ill and my own family members who are suffering from illness....its my pleasure and gift to give back to the world each day and to teach my children no matter what our circumstances are we can help so many and pay it forward.....I am honored to call you my friend
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Thank you, Gwen! I could not agree with you more! I think that it would be great publication for the Sheraton to approve both finalist, regardless of who wins. I think that Debralyn has demonstrated as much sacrifice as we have. Hopefully it all works out for the both of us. God Bless both you and her.
Ashley Gehringer May 08, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Thank you, Dawn! [=
debra day May 08, 2012 at 10:13 PM
My mom DEBRALYN DAY should win this contest becuase she has gone through many years of nothing but stress and iv'e witnessed. She has been through way to much but still puts others before herself as it is her pation. She has started her own non- profit and bussines to help others in need from people who have cancer to senior citizens on top of what challanges she has to go through each day. She needs a little break to as what Gwen said to "re-fill her cup." I would love to see my mom get some peace and quite. If it wasn't for her i would not have a great family and a place I can call home as i was adopted from Russia when i was 3. She is my insparation as to many others. PLEASE VOTE DEBRALYNDAY WHO IS WHAT I CALL MY HERO!<3
debra day May 08, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Allison russell May 08, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I vote for debralyn day!
Catherine Crain May 08, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Vote for Debra pay!!!
HAL HYMAN May 08, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Cindy Brentwood May 09, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Vote for Mark (Marine) and Ashley.....SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! They give their lives to protect ours!
Ashley Gehringer May 09, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Thank you so much, Cindy! We really appreciate your support! [=


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