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Interview: McCartney fan stunned at winning meeting with him in San Francisco

Paul McCartney
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

Leslie Sampson says she got some exciting news July 29. She will soon be on her way to San Francisco to meet Paul McCartney as the winner of a contest by the charity Aid Still Required.

“Hello Leslie, Congratulations! The Paul McCartney campaign just ended and you have been selected as the winner!,” said the winning email she received announcing her as the winner of the Paul McCartney meet-and-greet contest. She says she first learned about the contest in a story published by Beatles Examiner.

“Shortly after I read about the contest on your site, I made a donation, (then) re-posted it on Facebook and Twitter. Then, I forgot all about the contest. Last night, I received an email telling me I'd won. I didn't make it past the 'Congratulations!' before I started to cry and carry on. I didn't know what to think.”

Sampson, who is known professionally in her writing career as KJ Hamilton, said she decided to ask her mother, also a McCartney fan, to join her. “We haven't seen Paul together since Soldier Field July 1990. And, now, we get to meet the man together. So incredible.”

Entries in the contest were through contributions to Aid Still Required. Donors could choose to contribute any amount of money from $5 and up. The grand prize was an all-expenses paid trip for two to attend the upcoming Paul McCartney concert Aug.14 at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. The winner and guest would also be invited to visit him backstage and attend the pre-show sound check.

"I think meeting Paul McCartney would be the thrill of a lifetime for almost anyone,” Aid Still Required President and CEO Hunter Payne told Beatles Examiner. “Not only has his music profoundly impacted generation after generation, Paul embodies the highest dignity both as a family man and as a committed activist to many worthwhile causes.

“It's been our great honor to partner with him over these past 10 years on behalf of the survivors of the 2004 tsunami and the Haiti earthquake," Payne said. "Literacy runs about 50% in Haiti. Most kids don't finish the 5th grade there. Education is key to Haiti's recovery, so we are very grateful to Paul for helping us build this school. It will serve hundreds of farm kids who would otherwise never get an education."

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