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Jingle Bells winners tout shopping in Park Rapids

Jingle Bells winners were presented checks Friday afternoon at the Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. From left are Katie Magozzi, Chamber executive director, Martin Hillberg, Jolynn Holmer, Vicki Strom, Adrianna Nessman, Chamber Board president elect, Bob Seifert, and Debi and Steve Pachel. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

It pays to shop locally.

The final five prizes for the 2011 Park Rapids Jingle Bells Sweepstakes were awarded Friday afternoon at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

The prizes were awarded on the last day to redeem tickets.

Steve and Debi Pachel and daughter Shana Peterson of Park Rapids were the $5,000 winners. Their ticket, number two in the category, was from Walmart.

"We don't know what we'll do with the money," Steve said. "It will buy a lot of fuel oil," he said jokingly.

They did say, however, that the money could help finish repairs on their home that was damaged in the F1 tornado last summer.

Jolynn Holmer, of Bad Medicine Lake, won a $1,000 prize. The winning ticket was from L&M Fleet Supply. What will she spend the money on?

"If it was up to me I'd be in California visiting my sister," she said. "If it wqas up to my husband he'd probably get a bunch of unnecessary ice fishing stuff. But we'll probably compromise and do some remodeling."

Vicki Strom and David Leckie won a $1,000 prize. Their ticket came from Coborn's.

"I shop there a lot. It's my favorite place," Strom said.

The money will come in handy to help with property taxes on their cabin and for their wedding in August, Strom said.

Anna Nessman, and her parents, Leslie and Robert, of Ponsford, also won a $1,000 prize.

"It's a funny story," Nessman said.

Each year her parents take all the Jingle Bells tickets and divide them between Anna and her brother and sister.

"The deal is, if we win, we have to split the prize with them," Anna said.

Anna's ticket came from Walmart. Her half of the prize money will go toward college, she said. She is currently attending M State in Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids.

"I want to be a child psychologist," she said.

The last $1,000 prize went to Martin Hillberg. His ticket came from Northern Bait & Tackle.

"I bought a black powder rifle to get this ticket," he said. "I made a deal with my friend. We said if we won we'd go right back to Northern Bait and spend the rest of the money there."

Chamber executive director Katie Magozzi said all the prize winners were local, which was great to see. Also, she noted that only one of the winners had the first ticket in their category. The rest had ticket number two or three.

"A lot of people didn't check their tickets or lost them," she said.

The promotion runs each year from Nov. 1 through mid-December.

Park Rapids businesses make the cash giveaway possible. All sectors of the business community participate - banks, restaurants, grocery stores, downtown merchants, motels, the media, services such as opticians and electricians and both large and small retailers.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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