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Wesley Chapel custodian gets the surprise of his life - a new car

Wesley Chapel Elementary School custodian, Gary Sica, gives his wife, Cheryl, a hug after being presented a new car by Anderson Cooper and FOX Charlotte. (Below) Cheryl Sica, her 18-year-old daughter, Amanda, a student at CPCC, and husband Gary Sica of Waxhaw take a moment to pose in front of their new car, courtesy of Anderson Cooper and Fox Charlotte.

A Wesley Chapel Elementary School custodian got the surprise of his life Wednesday afternoon when he was presented a new car by Anderson Cooper and FOX Charlotte in front of his school’s staff and students.

Gary and Cheryl Sica of Waxhaw were awarded a 2012 Hyundai Sonata from Cooper’s nationally syndicated show after her letter about her husband won a contest. “It’s so surreal,” she said, standing in front of the new car. “Out of thousands of people, who would think that my letter would be picked. This is amazing.”

After seeing a promo for a nationwide contest sponsored by Anderson Cooper (host of a CNN news show broadcast at 4pm on FOX Charlotte), Cheryl thought about her husband Gary’s car. “Gary hasn't been able to open his (car) windows for two years. It’s got over a hundred thousand miles.”

Without telling Gary, Cheryl entered the contest, writing a letter to Cooper about her husband of 27 years, a letter that spoke of the challenges they had had since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 22 years ago. Gary gave up his job as a stockbroker in New York eight years ago to come to North Carolina because the warm weather was better for Cheryl’s condition. He took the only job he could find, a school custodian.

“He’s always been there for me,” she said. “When I couldn’t walk, when I couldn’t see, when I was so tired. He would come home after working all day and help me cook and clean and take care of the kids. I wrote the letter just to thank him. Never in a million years did I think I was going to be picked.”

A few days after sending the letter, producers from the “Anderson” show called and told Cheryl that her letter was a finalist for the grand prize car. They said the show wanted to feature the couple in a segment to be taped by its local affiliate FOX Charlotte at Wesley Chapel Elementary School where Gary is a custodian.

But Cheryl didn’t know they were more than finalists. Cooper, who was talking to them live from New York, revealed to the couple in the segment they had won the car. Both were moved to tears by the announcement.

“I have probably the greatest wife in the world,” Gary said. “She’s my best friend. I love her tremendously. I’m shocked that she would do something like this for me. I’m so thrilled about this car.”

Gary said he believes what he has done for Cheryl and their family during their tough times doesn’t make him any more special than the next guy. "I'm just doing something every guy should do; take care of his wife."

Gary said the car is an answer to a prayer, as both daughters will be living out of North Carolina in the near future. “Now we can go visit them,” he said.

Their 18-year-old daughter, Amanda, was also on hand for the surprise. “He deserves this,” she said. “He’s the best father I could ever ask for. He’s such an amazing guy. He does everything for us. He never does anything for himself. My mom’s such a good writer, I wasn’t surprised her letter won.”

Cheryl’s and Gary’s incredible surprise was aired on “Anderson” Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 at 4pm on FOX Charlotte. Watch the video below.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator; and Fox Charlotte
Posted: Feb 24, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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