Harold’s shopper wins national prize for fourth time

Perry Bergson
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Shoppers at Harold’s Family Foods may want to start playing the lottery.

The Prince Albert grocery store is part of a national network of more than 70 independently owned stores from Thunder Bay west. Sixty of them participate in three national contests that have been run each year for the last five years.

Harold’s customers have now won four of them.

Lori Chenier was the latest, as the Prince Albert woman dropped by the store on Tuesday morning to pick up a $15,000 prize.

“I was blown away,” she says. “I was very surprised. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

Chenier found about the prize a couple of weeks ago when she was at work. During a break she checked her messages at home and had one to call Harold’s.

After sharing the news with a co-worker, her fiancé and her parents, there was the little matter of her break ending.

“I had to stay calm after that and continue working,” she chuckled.

Harold’s Fine Foods manager Christopher Szeszorak says the national contest, themed Community Cash, has a neat wrinkle to it.

Because a Harold’s customer won the big prize, a secondary prize of $10,000 was given to the store to donate to charity.

“Part B is what we’re going to kick off today and goes into April,” he says. “What we’re going to do is we get to donate $10,000 to the charity of our choice and we would like our customers to vote. Tomorrow morning we’ll have the ballot done up with five eligible charities and for every $50 in groceries, a customer can cast a ballot. So we would like to get our customers involved and have a hand in saying where the money goes.”

The vote will be over on April 12. The eligible charities include Salvation Army, Mont St. Joseph, SPCA, Children’s Haven and Hope's Home.

The final five were picked by staff, owners and customers of the store from an initial list of 10. There are some national guidelines that helped identify who was eligible for the money.

The money comes from Family Foods and some of the store’s suppliers, such as Old Dutch Foods, Kraft, Macdonalds Consolidated and Mondelez International.

The promotion that Chenier won was a ballot contest during a three-week promotion. Her name was pulled from all of the entries at the 60 stores.

In the past, the store has given away a cash prize, groceries for a year and a car as part of the national contest.

“We’re quite lucky, so absolutely enter every contest that you can because you might win,” Szeszorak says.

Chenier now faces the happy problem of figuring out what to do with $15,000. It sounds like some of it is tentatively spent already.

The mother of a seven- and 18-year-old says a little bit of travelling is in their future.

“We’re going to take a family trip to Disneyland,” she says. “We’ve wanted to go there and the kids will have a great time. The rest … the responsible thing to do is loans and paying off debt. But we’re still talking about it, so we’ll see.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Salvation Army, Old Dutch Foods

Geographic location: Thunder Bay

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Recent comments

  • Nice win!
    March 25, 2014 - 19:18

    Great to see someone local win something like this,now hopefully Mont St. Joseph is the next winner from all of this,our seniors really do deserve more than what they get