First Posted: 2/27/2009
There were big two winners at a charity event Friday night at Cross Creek Country Club.
One was Kelly Merritt of Mount Airy, the winner of a grand-prize drawing for the choice of either a restored classic 1966 Ford Mustang, or $20,000 in cash.
The other big beneficiary of Fridays fund-raiser was The Shepherds House. The event is expected to net about $45,000 for the local facility that serves families in need of temporary emergency housing, which has provided 23,000 total nights of shelter.
Some 350 tickets, at $300 each, had been distributed for the sold-out affair, which also included a silent auction and other activities to aid The Shepherds House. More than 75 businesses and individuals contributed gifts for the benefit. The dinner provided an automatic chance for the drawing, and others purchased $100 tickets for the big prize.
Money flew fast and loose in the packed dining room as the local musical group Kathe Beaver and the Blend supplied entertainment.
But the main event was the contest for the grand prize, which was awarded through a draw-down format in which ticket numbers gradually were eliminated to reach the final 10, accompanied by groans from those with losing tickets. The crowd became tenser as the countdown to the big moment grew nearer, with the band performing the classic song Mustang Sally to set the mood.
Ironically, Merritt was not present to hear her winning number called, and had to be notified later by cell phone by Amy Sparks, one of the numerous volunteers who helped make the fund-raiser a success.
She said, Amy, youre lying to me, Sparks said a skeptical Merritt told her when first informed of the news.
Later in a telephone interview, Merritt the shock of her good fortune still evident agreed that she had a hard time believing she was the winner out of hundreds of tickets that were in the running.
Surprised and excited were the two emotions she experienced at the time, said Merritt, a housewife who works part-time for Webb Interiors in Mount Airy. The local woman added that she has never won anything of such magnitude before.
But being the grand-prize recipient also has presented a dilemma: Merritt now must choose between the Carolina blue Mustang convertible or the cash.
We really have not been able to think about that, she said in reference to her husband John. Right now, its just kind of fun to know we won a prize. But well see.
Along with being happy about the contest result, the winner also was glad for the chance to assist The Shepherds House.
Weve been longtime supporters, and its just a wonderful facility and its a much-needed service that it provides to our community, Merritt said. I hope more people will come out and support it.
The event Friday night, the major annual fund-raiser of The Shepherds House, has been staged for more than five years, and has been a sellout each time. This year there was some concern that the economy might have affected participation, but the final take is expected to exceed last years net proceeds of $43,000.
I would say its very successful, said Berta Glenn Springthorpe, a member of The Shepherds House Board of Directors.
It reportedly requires about $10,000 per month to operate the facility.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.