An Inter-Mountain subscriber from Whitmer was chosen Monday as the winner of the exciting Fun in the Sun promotion, which grants ownership of a one-week luxury timeshare villa in Orlando, Fla.
The lucky reader is Racy Nelson Jr., whose entry form was picked by chance inside a "money machine" at Citizens Bank in Elkins.
Nelson and his girlfriend, Eleanor Hedrick, said they were surprised and excited to learn about the prize Monday afternoon. Located just five minutes away from the world-famous Walt Disney World, the Florida Vacation Villas' two-bedroom timeshare, which comfortably sleeps six, is valued at $30,000.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Henry-Vance
The Inter-Mountain’s Fun in the Sun promotion winner was selected Monday morning at Citizens Bank of West Virginia in Elkins, inside the bank’s ‘money machine.’ From left, are Kathy Leombruno, senior vice president and marketing officer of the bank; Danny Wiseman, a bank customer who was randomly selected to pick the winning entry Monday morning; and Mindy Bond, circulation director of The Inter-Mountain.
"I never did win anything (before)," Nelson said.
While he and Hedrick have visited Florida once, Nelson said he is excited to win the timeshare and be able to enjoy a vacation in Orlando each year.
"I like to travel; I don't like to drive," he said with a laugh.
Hedrick and Nelson are both retired, and they both were born and raised in Randolph County.
As subscribers, the couple receives The Inter-Mountain at home each day, and Hedrick said she noticed the Fun in the Sun entry form and sent it in for Nelson.
"I just saw it in the paper and decided to do it," she said, later adding she looks forward to learning more about the timeshare property.
To enter, readers were required to complete the original Fun in the Sun entry form located in The Inter-Mountain and mail it in or drop it off at the newspaper's Elkins office. The forms were published in The Inter-Mountain each day from Jan. 16 through Feb. 28, the date the contest closed. Readers could enter as many times as they liked.
Mindy Bond, circulation director for The Inter-Mountain, said she was happy to be part of this exciting newspaper promotion.
"It's been a lot of fun," Bond said after giving Nelson the good news over the phone Monday afternoon. "It was interesting to see how many people were excited and called in about how to enter the contest, and to see how many people called in after the contest was over to find out if there was a winner yet."
Because the contest was open to both subscribers and readers who purchase The Inter-Mountain at newsstands, it was the best of both worlds. It offered all readers a chance to win a valuable prize.
Those who may have subscribed for a few years or their whole lives, and those who often pick up the paper at a gas station or vending box on the corner, all could enter by completing the Fun in the Sun form.
Heather Goodwin Heather, general manager and publisher of The Inter-Mountain, noted how big this contest was. Literally thousands of entries were received from people who read the newspaper, paid attention to what's inside and then took action by cutting out the entry form and sending it in.
"It's a testament to the power of print media," Henline said, explaining that the newspaper has a valuable impact in a 24-hour news cycle on its website and through online social media sites, but the printed newspaper itself also still has a large and immediate impact in the surrounding communities.
"The response we received to this promotion was overwhelming," she said. "It just really reinforces what we already knew - people read our paper. ... What we do works."
She added the Fun in the Sun contest received so many entries that the newspaper had to borrow the "money machine" from Citizens Bank in order to easily select a random winner.
Danny Wiseman, co-owner of Bates Carpet, was a customer at Citizens Bank who was randomly selected to pick the winning entry Monday morning. As a thank-you, Wiseman received a free subscription to The Inter-Mountain.
Florida Vacation Villas is located in the heart of Orlando, surrounded by famous area attractions. Guests have easy driving access to the best parks Florida has to offer - Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Aquatica, Busch Gardens, Gatorland and much more. Florida Vacation Villas contains 60 units, two outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, two playgrounds, two tennis courts, an outdoor billiards table and multiple outdoor gas grills. The resort also maintains an indoor game room and fitness room.
The two-bedroom villa contains one king-size bed, two twin-size beds and one queen-size sofa sleeper. The villa features a fully equipped kitchen with full-size appliances, two full bathrooms with a shower and tub, three televisions, linens, a DVD player, a hairdryer, ironing board and iron. All kitchen cupboards and drawers are fully stocked with small appliances, dishware and utensils.
When ownership is transferred to Nelson, all of the taxes and closing costs will be included as part of the prize. The maintenance fees also will be covered for the entire year of 2013.
In order to renew your subscription or subscribe to The Inter-Mountain, contact the Circulation Department at 304-636-2122 or stop by The Inter-Mountain headquarters on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Sixth Street in Elkins.