Shopping spree winner gives back to Community Action

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Don Gaines races through the aisle at Pawlak’s Save-A lot this morning, an 85-second race to fill the shopping cart.

ALBION – After he filled a shopping cart with more than $800 of food – mostly with ham and other meat – Don Gaines announced most of the bounty would be given to Community Action of Orleans & Genesee.

Gaines and his wife Barbara won an 85-second shopping trip at Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot this morning. The event was organized by the Lord’s House, a church in Waterport. The Lord’s House sold tickets for $5 each to give people a chance for the shopping sprint and two other gift baskets.

Don and Barbara bought one ticket and hit the grand prize.

“We’re going to donate a majority to Community Action,” Mr. Gaines said. “They helped us out when we had nothing.”

Gaines remembers one time when they went to the agency and the food giveaway included steaks. A previous Community Action food recipient donated the steaks as a payback for when he needed help.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaines remember their surprise of eating a steak dinner that day when they were expecting hot dogs.

Today, Gaines first went for canned goods with salmon. He also grabbed trays of canned corn beef. Then he hit the meat freezer.

“I want to put food in peoples’ stomachs, something besides hot dogs,” he said.

Eddie and Rose English, left, are pictured with Barbara and Don Gaines, and Jerome Pawlak, right, after today’s shopping spree.

The final bill at the checkout today was $803. Gaines was given a hearty congratulations from Eddie English, the church pastor, and his wife, Rose.

Mrs. English used to work in the Rochester City School District, and organized shopping sprees for the district.

The Lord’s House meets at the former United Methodist Church in Waterport. The shopping spree was a fund-raiser for the church as it works to make masonry repairs and paint the exterior of the building.

The Lord’s House will be back at the June 13-14 Strawberry Festival selling “Soul Burgers.” The church also is planning an event – “Women Wear Many Hats” – on June 22. Each woman wearing her favorite hat at the 3:30 p.m. event will receive a gift.

“We’re trying to think outside the box,” Mrs. English said about some of the church’s outreach efforts.