Wendy Graham takes off at a run beginning a very quick 90 seconds of shopping at the Sylvan Lake Sobeys. All the items she grabbed were ones that are needed by the food bank on a regular basis. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

90 second shopping spree donated to Food Bank

Wendy Graham donated all items from the 90 second shopping spree she won to the Food Bank

Ninety seconds goes by quicker than you would think, as Wendy Graham found out Friday morning during a 90 second shopping spree at Sobeys.

Graham won the shopping spree at the Mermaid Ball in October, which was donated by Brad and Andrea Bromley, the co-owners of the Sylvan Lake Sobeys.

“It was an opportunity to support the Chamber [of Commerce] at the Mermaid Ball, create some excitement in the community,” said Brad Bromley about the initial prize donation. “It was a good opportunity to do something nice for the community and have a great prize at the Mermaid Ball.”

The winner, Graham, chose to give back by donating her prize to the Sylvan Lake Food Bank. All the items she grabbed, which came out to a total of $392, was donated to the Food Bank.

“It was really Wendy who came up with the Food Bank idea,” said Bromley.

Graham said donating her winnings to the Food Bank was an easy choice, coupled with the fact she didn’t feel she needed the groceries.

“I have my own garden and my own beef, so I don’t really do much actual shopping, but I know the Food Bank is always in need,” Graham explained.

Graham says donating her spree to the Food Bank was a great way to give back to the community.

Before beginning her spree, which took place the morning of Nov. 17, Graham went to the Food Bank to discuss the donation and what they needed to fill the shelves.

She filled her carts full of peanut butter, pasta, canned foods and paper towel.

Though the 90 seconds went by very quickly, Graham says too quickly, she is happy to be able to help the food bank with her donation.

“Every little bit helps,” said Graham.

Though the spree went quickly, Graham said it was an excellent experience and felt amazing to participate.

Pam Towers, one of the volunteers at the Sylvan Lake Food Bank present during the spree, was extremely happy to have Graham donate her contest winning to the Food Bank.

In particular she said she was excited to see the large amount of peanut butter Graham was able to grab.

“She got a lot of peanut butter which is great, because we use that every week,” said Towers.

Graham ended up grabbing enough items to total $392 dollars. The initial prize promised at least $750 worth of groceries, so Sobeys donated the remaining difference to the Food Bank to use.

“Normally people would go for the meat, the seafood, the cans of coffee and the total adds up quickly. Wendy grabbed a lot of cans or pasta for $1, and it takes a lot to add up to that,” Bromley explained, adding the rules stated she could only grab items one at a time using either hand.

As an after thought, Bromley said he should have added time to the clock and rounded the shopping spree out at three minutes, but was happy to donate to the food bank on top of the items donated from the spree itself.

Towers was grateful to Sobeys and Graham for their contribution to the Food Bank, adding all the grocery stores in Sylvan Lake are very giving and helpful towards the charity.

“We are so grateful. Sylvan Lake is just so excellent and willing to help in anyway, this is just amazing,” said Towers.


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Andrea Bromley, co-owner of the Sylvan Lake Sobeys, rings up all the items grabbed during the 90 second shopping spree Sobeys donated as a prize at the Mermaid Ball. The winner, Wendy Graham, donated all items from her spree to the Sylvan Lake Food Bank. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Wendy Graham grabs items one at a time, as per the rules of the shopping spree. Graham went through the store beforehand to find where items she wanted to grab are, without wasting any precious time. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Wendy Graham made sure to stock up on paper towel for the Food Bank. Before she began her spree, Graham asked the Food Bank what items they are low on and what they would like to receive. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Brad Bromley, co-owner of the Sylvan Lake Sobeys, helps unload the shopping carts of their load to be rung through at the cash register. Bromley, and his co-owner and wife Andrea, had expected the shopping spree to be upwards of $750, and donated the remaining amount to the food bank to make up the difference. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

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