Shoppers Jamie Joyce, left, and Anita and Terry Johnson filled their baskets in a hurry Saturday morning at the north-end Farmer’s Country Market Noon Optimists’ “Dash for Groceries” contest. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
Chandler Montgomery and his wife, Shauna, had a plan Saturday morning as they grabbed their cart in the Noon Optimist’s Dash for Groceries contest.
First, they planned to fill it with dog and cat food to donate to the local humane society. Unfortunately, that was against the rules. Instead, as third-place winners, the couple with three children had only one minute to grab as much produce, dairy, cereal and other items before the buzzer.
“I went for the meat,” Chandler Montgomery said.
He was rather successful. The couple managed to walk away with nearly $230 in free groceries as third-place raffle winners.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Shauna Montgomery said. “I think we’ll pig out this weekend. It was good family fun.”
Anita Johnson and her husband, Terry, won second place and had two minutes to capture as much brisket and goodies as they could.
“It was fantastic,” Anita Johnson said. “It ‘s the first time I’ve won a contest. It’s a lot harder than what I thought it would be. We’re having a big cookout for the 4th of July. The rest of it we’ll donate.”
The couple plans to give much of the food collected to “those less fortunate” at their church, Terry Johnson said.
First-place winner, Jamie Joyce, had three minutes to dash around the aisles but chose to be a bit selective. Still, she managed to rack up $240 in groceries, grabbing shrimp, cheese, pork tenderloins, olive oil, honey and other items.
“I made a big circle on my way,” Joyce said. “I was on my way to the coffee when the horn rang.”
Joyce said she will probably have a birthday party with the brisket and stick the rest in the freezer.
“It was actually fun running around the store like a mad person,” she said.
Kevin Roe, president of the Noon Optimists, said the group holds the raffle fundraiser to raise money for area youth programs. The programs include helping community children with cancer treatments, sponsoring ball clubs, music programs, little league and as many as 40 other events.
“We pay for the groceries,” Roe said.
The Noon Optimists have provided charity to local children since 1952. The group meets every Wednesday at Cattleman’s Restaurant.
Farmers Market store manager Gary McWhorter joined the excitement and cheered on the participants. The store gives the club a discount on groceries for the event.
“It was fun and I had a great time,” McWhorter said. “The Noon Optimist (organization) does a great job with the community. We’re always glad to help them out as much as we can.”