‘Hollywood comes to East Chicago, Indiana’. That’s what everyone was saying when three of the brightest and hottest stars of Days of our Lives entered the VIP room of Resorts Hotel and Casino in the “Steel City” (20 miles south of Chicago) in June of 2006.
“My God, this is just hard to believe! Lucas a couple of blocks from my home,” Mary Alcord of Hammond, In., shouted.” “He’s gorgeous. What a hunk. Look at those muscles. ”
Speaking of muscles? The tall and muscular Austin Peck (ex Austin, DOOL; Brad, ATWT) entered the room with his physique causing some ooh’s and ahh’s. Peck, who is tall on TV appears to be even taller in person.
And then there’s the drop dead gorgeous Judi Evans, looking more petite in person, and flashing those big bright ivories at the crowd.
Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Roberts), Austin Peck (ex-Austin Reed), and Judi Evans (ex- Bonnie, now Adrianne), were in Chicago as a part of a promotional deal between Resorts partnering with NBC in Chicago to bring the stars into town.
“NBC are major people that we advertise with. We wanted to do something different at Resorts for our guests and customers,” said Reggie Dotson, PR coordinator at East Chicago Resorts. “Soaps are big, and we know the fans are out there. This event will give people a chance to meet, greet, talk, and take photos with the stars.”
As part of the promotional deal some lucky folks won an opportunity to be in the VIP Room with the stars, and talk up close and be feted to a fabulous buffet consisting of succulent shrimp and mouth watering pork shops, and desert to die for, like chocolate covered strawberries.
Guests were chosen after having the chance to win 5X Cash back for new R Card members, giving them a chance to meet the Days of our Lives stars.
Resorts offered the promotion during three consecutive weekends’ at the Winners Square Promotion Center. During the promotion interested guests earned 25 R points in order to gain an entry into the “Days of our Lives” drawings.
Each day, a total of 105 winners were drawn to participate in one of the three-part events. A reception in the Ballroom (VIP room), a photograph and autograph session in the lounge, and dinner in the pavilion, where 30 lucky winners got the chance to eat with the stars. Each invited winner was allowed to bring a guest.
Dattilo, who participates in many events, said that it’s always fun to go and meet and greet the people that make the show. Also for Dattilo, anytime he gets a chance to come back to the Chicago land area is a treat, because the Windy City is his hometown. In fact, he spent a night at his brother’s home out in rural Indiana.
“Oh yea! With the cows. It was great,” Dattilo said. “But seriously, it’s great to meet and greet, and hear what the fans say.” And what do they say? “Of course....stay away from Sami,” (Alison Sweeney) he yelled.
Austin Peck agreed, “It’s great to be hang' in out. Get out of LA. I like to see the rest of America,” he said. “Look at Chicago, and what a great city it is? And it’s nice to hear what the people have to say or add about our show.”
The Days of our Lives stars couldn’t have been more cordial to the customers and winners, giving them everything they could have imagined in their wildest dreams, and the fans? Well lets just say I have never seen such wide bright eyes.
Mary Shields of Chicago, a winner in the contest was just taken by the hoopla. “You know, it’s like I can’t catch my breath. I’ve been watching Days since these folks were kids, and now here they are,” She said. “I’m amazed at how great they look. They’re people, but they have that special quality or glow. They are in everyday clothes, but yet on them, it’s such special. I don’t know you would have to be here to see it and believe it.”
David Allen of Griffith, In., couldn’t get over the radiance that Judi Evans personified. “She gorgeous. What a doll. When I watch the show, I will look at her in a new light, ”he said. Lets just say...va va va voom. As a viewer I think it’s sometime hard to believe these people are real.”
People kept peeking in, as the crowd of a few hundred people shuffled about with everyone wanting a glance. Cameras were flashing from all directions. The stars took a brief time out at the bar for a drink. Dattilo and Peck had their “usual beer,” and Evans just a soft drink, or at least that’s what she said. But Evans did pull out her trade mark cigarettes just like her character, Bonnie, would do. After taking a drag, she replied, “You know I really don’t smoke.”
Beth and Tina Albran, are twin sisters that traveled just to see the stars, summed up the event the best. “It’s like you die and go to heaven, or close your eyes and your imagination becomes real. We hate to admit it, but in our 55 years of life, this was the day.”
Everyone was in agreement that this is a day of their lives they will never forget.
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