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Bagdad teacher wins VIP concert experience to Barry Manilow

WEAR teamed up with the Manilow Music Project to give one local music teacher a VIP concert experience.
The finalists were Bagdad Elementary's Heidi Graves, Pine Forest High School's David Samuel, and Central High School's Iris Harper from.
Who did you vote for?
Thousands people saw Barry Manilow live at Pensacola Bay Center Thursday night.
But no one saw him like Heidi Graves.
((Manilow applauds Mrs. Graves)) "  This whole city came out for you!"

Graves is the music and choral teacher at Bagdad Elementary.
She's also the teacher you voted for to win a VIP concert experience with Barry Manilow.

"Oh my gosh, I almost fell out."
Almost, but not quite.
Not that we didn't try.

A Schmidt's Music gift certificate...
Limo rides for the evening...
Dinner at Jackson's Steakhouse...
Front row seats at Manilow's concert...

"He knocked my socks off, I am telling you. He is a performer."

One-on-one time with the man himself, and ...
"and I also decided to give you a check for 10,000 dollars so you can buy as many instruments and fix up as many instruments for your school as possible." "Oh my gosh!"

"I couldn't believe it."
10,000 dollars.
An incredible end to a month with a devastating beginning.

"I was teaching kindergarten music."
"The kids were like, bangin' on the instruments."

"They were trying to wake me up."
"Something weird happened."
That "Something" was a seizure caused by a brain tumor.
The surgery has taken her out of the classroom and her students.
"I miss them very much. I can't wait to get back."

She did go back on Friday morning to thank her principal, her co-workers, parents and students; and everyone who nominated her.

"Heidi is an excellent teacher. Her heart is in this and she gives 100 percent."

"I want to thank you personally for being an ambassador for music education."

"She is a really good teacher and she is like really fair and like perfection (snaps) Yeah (snaps)"
And of course to share the surprise of 10,000 dollars, devoted to the music programs.

"It's very nerve-racking and exciting; it's so cool."
"I don't think we'll have any problem spending that."

"Congratulations Miss Graves"
When the all county choir performs in April, they've decided to perform a Barry Manilow song.
If you want to see more of Manilow's meet and greet with Heidi Graves, log onto weartv.com and click on Raw News.