Visions of sugarplums and cold, hard cash
SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS ABOVE: The Rev. Jeremy Benack, left, and members of Grace Community Church shared hot chili, soup and cocoa with people at the second annual cash giveaway as part of Lansford Days of Christmas. With Benack are, from left, Christopher Vogel, Len Sniscak, David Wapensky, Frank Allesch, Amber Miller and son Alexander Miller. BELOW: Winners of the Christmas cash giveaway are front, from left, Jessica Foberg, $50; Rosanna Gonzalez, $100; Elizabeth Leonard, $250; and Jen Miller, $500; and back, Dr. Adam Teichman of PA Foot and Ankle Associates stands with $100 winner Grace Kondertavage and David Benevy of Lansford Alive.
The sound of holiday music filled Ridge Street on Saturday as Lansford Alive, in conjunction with PA Foot and Ankle Associates, held the second annual $1,000 cash giveaway as part of Lansford Days of Christmas.
Approximately 500 people turned out for the drawing that was held early in the afternoon.
In an effort to encourage shoppers to support Lansford businesses, Lansford Alive started the Lansford Days of Christmas in 2011.
This year, 18 local businesses participated in and sponsored the event which started on Dec. 1.
When shoppers made a purchase at one of the participating businesses, they were given tickets to be entered into the drawing to win one of five cash prizes.
Tickets were also available at Silver's Oreck Sales & Services without any purchase.
Approximately 15,000 tickets were entered in the drawing.
"We wanted to try to make people more aware that there are things in Lansford; that there are businesses in Lansford," said Lansford Alive member David Benevy.
"It is good to support these businesses because if they don't, they will go away," he added. "This promotion models what Bright's used to do in the distant past."
In those days, Benevy said Bright's gave away a car and the streets were filled with thousands of people, each hoping to be the lucky winner.
"We wanted to bring some of that back. Unfortunately we have no car to give away," Benevy added.
Around 1 p.m., Lansford Alive member Bob Silver welcomed the crowd and sought the help of some local children to help draw the tickets.
Winners needed to be present in order to win and had two minutes to claim their prize once the number had been called.
One unfortunate ticket holder just missed the two minute deadline and had to forfeit his winnings.
Prizes were awarded in the amounts of $500, $250, $100, $100 and $50 respectively. Grand prize winner Jen Miller of Nesquehoning said that winning the $500 prize was "great" and "unexpected."
She also said that the event was "great for the community and downtown Lansford."
Miller said that she will spend her winnings Christmas shopping. Lansford Alive is looking forward to holding the event again in 2013 and hopes that even more people will turn out for the event.
Music was provided by Blowout Entertainment of Coaldale. Hot soup, chili and cocoa were provided by Grace Community Church.