On the mainland, shoppers snag deals after Thanksgiving, but on San Juan Island, it’s the Lions Club annual pre-Thanksgiving shopping spree that packs a punch.
“This is a dream come true to run through the aisles of Kings,” said winner Shahn McGuire, before the event on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at the grocery store in downtown Friday Harbor.
The local service organization raised $3,003.52 through raffle sales, the three weekends prior to Thanksgiving week, and McGuire, whose name was drawn the weekend prior, reached $1,076.95 in her four-minute run.
That’s a first, said Jim Carroll, chairman of the spree.
“This was the largest one ever,” said Carroll about McGuire’s bill. “It beat others by about $200.”
Like several raffle winners before her, McGuire donated all the goods to the Friday Harbor Food Bank. She even staked out aisles with food bank employees, the night before, to locate most-needed items, like jams, cereals, cake mixes, and cooking supplies like sugar and Crisco.
During the race, McGuire scooped armfuls of boxed goods into her cart, as observers chanted “go Shahn.” Lions members notified onlookers to clear the way and counted down the time.
“Clean up on aisle six,” one shouted, as McGuire missed the cart.
She also hand-picked $50 worth of meat after the run, which was included in the total.
According to Dan Sorgen, a veteran member of the San Juan Lions Club, the group has held a raffle to win a grocery shopping spree since the mid-90s. Proceeds cover the winner’s tab, as well as scholarships for Friday Harbor High School seniors.
For McGuire, entering the raffle is a longstanding tradition to honor her late grandfather, Jerry McGuire, who was a Lions member.
“His life was a life of service; this is exactly what he would have done,” she said about her donation.
Of course, she was able to keep a few items for herself — four mint chocolate bars to enjoy over the holidays.
For more information on the Lions Club, visit www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/sanjuanwa.