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The day I met MY IDOL

My mission: To meet Scott Stapp, the lead singer for Creed and my absolute idol, IN PERSON.

Who would have thought such a thing could happen? When I heard he was scheduled to be part of the David Wells Celebrity Softball Classic in St. Petersburg recently, I knew I had to try to find him. The event benefited Day for Our Children Inc., a charitable organization that helps abused, neglected and terminally ill children and their families, and Stapp was one of a number of celebrities pitching in.

When I arrived at Florida Power Park, I showed the security guard my Xpress press pass and was able to join all the other media people on the field. I waited about half an hour in the hot Saturday sun in anticipation that my dream of meeting Scott would come true.

Finally the players, including Toronto Blue Jay David Wells, came out of the dugout and walked onto the field. I saw Scott and my heart raced! For good luck, I looked at my friend Stephanie, who was up in the stands, and then walked over to Scott. I honestly thought I was going to die on the spot!

I started rambling on about how he is my idol, and how his songs speak to me. He smiled and signed my copy of his CD Human Clay and also gladly agreed to pose for a picture, with his arm around me! Yes, I did think to myself, "I am never washing this shirt again."

We parted and I continued to walk around the field, talking to different celebrities, including Jonathan Silverman, Randy "Macho Man" Savage and Bubba the Love Sponge from 98 Rock and taking it all in.

However, my eyes always wandered back to Scott. He walked past me a couple times and I had to control the urge to talk to him again. I snapped some more photos and continued to find myself in the midst of famous people.

All the other celebrities were nice and signed autographs. But I was still in awe from my encounter with Scott. I continued to take photographs of Scott until the security guard told me that all members of the press were to get off the field.

When Scott stepped up to bat, one of Creed's songs played over the loudspeakers. When his name was announced, Stephanie and I screamed our lungs out. He played third base, giving me a perfect view from the stands.

When it was time for us to go, I cheered for him and walked lethargically out of the stadium, still in total awe.

If you ever have a chance to meet your idol, do it. I am so glad that I pushed myself to talk with him and tell him what his music means to me.

Lauren Schumacher, 16, is in the 10th grade at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs.