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Friday, June 21, 2024

Student gets inked for concert tickets

When listeners of the Kevin and Casey morning show on KISS 105.3 FM were asked what they would do to meet Disney's Hannah Montana, they gave some interesting responses.

Someone promised to eat bugs. A woman said she would shave her head.

But when two listeners convinced the DJs they were the most deserving to go to Tuesday's sold-out show in Orlando - and agreed to tattoo the station's logo on their bodies live on the air - they knew they had their winners.

That was how McCall Blanchard, a 20-year-old SFCC student, found herself in Bodytech Tattooing and Piercing on West University Avenue Thursday morning.

After an hour and a half, a 5-by-5-inch, open-jawed alligator with "KISS 105. 3 FM" above its head was displayed prominently between her shoulder blades.

"I think I'm crazy, but it's worth it," Blanchard said.

She won the hearts of the DJs when she told them her story.

The tickets would be for her 7-year-old niece, Brianna Blanchard, who was born with a birth defect called spina bifida, which affects the spinal cord.

Brianna is confined to a wheelchair most of the time, Blanchard said.

"My niece has been through a lot," she said as the tattooing machine buzzed on her back, completing what would be her fourth tattoo.

The station decided to award Blanchard both the front-row tickets and the backstage passes because the other contestant did not show up.

The station did not explain why.

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Additionally, the DJs told Blanchard on the air that a limousine will take Brianna from her home in Tampa to the concert.

Brianna is excited by the thought of meeting Hannah Montana in just four days.

"I love her," she said over the phone. "She's my favorite pop star in the world."

Wayne Lessard, Bodytech's owner, tattooed Blanchard himself after the station approached him with the idea.

"I thought it was such a nice story," he said.

"I wanted to be involved in it."

Blanchard, who is a Georgia-raised Bulldogs fan, was hesitant to have her back permanently tattooed with a gator.

"Can we make the gator red and black?" she asked, smiling.

In the end, Blanchard was happy with Lessard's work.

"I'm just glad it's not ugly," she said. "Wayne did a really good job on it."

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