Red Ticket winners help food bank on Central Whidbey
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
December 21, 2011 · Updated 8:29 AM
A Coupeville mother-son team used their holiday prize to help their neighbors.
In front of hundreds of people on the steps of the Island County Museum, Janie and Teo Keilwitz won $1,000 Sunday through the annual Red Ticket drawing organized by the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association.
Once the pair received the stack of $2 bills, they turned around and donated half the cash to the Gifts from the Heart Food Bank.
As for their plans for the remainder of the prize money, Teo said he doesn’t have any specific ideas but his mom, Janie, pointed out that most of it will go into his savings account, but they be able to spend a little of it too. The family acquired their winning ticket the day before at the Island County museum.
People shopping in Coupeville have been collecting their tickets since Harvest Fest in October. The Red Ticket drawing, which always takes place the Sunday before Christmas, helps spark interest in shopping in the historic town by giving out one red raffle ticket for every $20 spent.
“It’s something to make Coupeville more attractive,” said Mary Alice Sterling with the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association. “We have local businesses that can supply almost anything you want.”
It appeared people spent a lot of money in Coupeville over the past several months. The basket used to pick the winning tickets was filled with thousands of entries, although organizers didn’t have an accurate count available.
People had to be present at the steps of the museum in order to win. Because of that requirement, hundreds poured onto Alexander Street and the road in front of the museum and a portion of Front Street was closed during the drawing.
The Keilwitz family and Gifts from the Heart food bank weren’t the only winners Sunday. Three people won $100 cash prizes as well. Debbie Wysomierski purchased her $100 winner at the Honey Bear, Jug Bernhardt purchased his winning ticket at Coupeville Auto and Roberta Winfield bought hers at Toby’s.
Janie and Teo Keilwitz’ $1,000 came in a stack of $2 bills. Organizer Beth Kuchynka, who owns Bayleaf, said using the seldom-seen bills was a fun idea and it would be nice to see how the money is spent locally.
Sterling said the Red Ticket promotion will take place again in 2012, starting as always with the Harvest Fest in mid October.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.