For the last eight years, Allyson Vaughn of Grove has not missed a Great Grand Lake Bobber Drop.

Since her birth, in April 2009, Vaughn has been on the waters of Grand Lake alongside her parents, Barb and Tommy, taking part in the annual event.

This year was no exception. The fourth grader at Turkey Ford Elementary, was determined to be on the water hunting bobbers.

She even came back early, from visiting her grandmother in Missouri, to ensure she could participate.

Since her dad was working, and her mom was out of town, Vaughn tagged along with her friend, Kayla Leeper, to catch the red and white treasurers as Sam Williams from the Grand Lake Sports Center dropped them into the waters of Grand Lake from an airplane.

Kayla Leeper's parents, Terri and Jay, took Vaughn to the Sports Center, to turn in her bobbers. She later called her mother, telling her "Mom, I put my name, but signed your phone number" on the slips going into the drawing bin at Grand Lake Casino.

It was only after casino officials drew her name out - out of the thousands of slips turned into after the hunt - did Williams realize this year's grand prize winner was a frequent visitor to his store.

Vaughn often accompanies her parents to the store in downtown Grove, mostly she said, to visit the birds.

In fact, her parents used a "regular visit" to see the birds and other animals at Williams' store, as the way to get Vaughn to show up for the surprise announcement.

Initially, Vaughn thought she won $250. It was only after her mother counted out the bills did the full amount she won sunk in.

"I just thought it was another visit with Sam," Vaughn said, adding she planned to go shopping for her newborn niece Hadley Vaughn before she left the store. 

In the end, Vaughn bought some items for Hadley. She also purchased a few outdoor toys and other items for her friends - who accompanied her to the surprise giveaway. 

This year's $2,500 grand prize was sponsored by officials at Grand Lake Casino. Everyone who turned in a bobber was entered into the drawing. Other names pulled out during the Monday, July 30 ceremony were awarded prizes not claimed during the nine-day period.

This is the ninth year Williams has organized the Great Grand Lake Bobber Drop. It typically takes place on a Saturday in mid-July. For more information, persons interested may call Williams at 918-786-2300.