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Hamper ruse leads Vernon mom to new van pickup

Elizabeth Gerwing, single mother of three, winner of second annual van giveaway
Vernon’s Elizabeth Gerwing (right) and her three kids admire the fully restored Pontiac Montana Van they were awarded as winners of the second annual Vernon Van Giveaway courtesy of Swan Lake Motors and Kal Tire. (Contributed)

Elizabeth Gerwing was under the belief she was picking up Christmas hampers for her building at Vernon’s Swan Lake Motors.

But when the single mother of three kids showed up with kiddos in tact at the dealership Friday, Dec. 16, Gerwing was in for a surprise.

“They said, ‘We don’t have a hamper for you. We have a vehicle for you,’” said Gerwing, 36, winner of the second annual Vernon Van Giveaway presented by Swan Lake Motors and Kal Tire.

Gerwing and her kids aged 13, 11 and nine left the dealership with a fully restored Pontiac Montana van, outfitted with new tires from Kal Tire, six months of vehicle insurance from CapriCMW Insurance Services, hundreds of dollars in fuel cards and a swag basket.

She was selected the winner from more than 100 entries to the contest.

“There were tears of joys flowing when I got home,” said Gerwing, currently looking for a job and working with Community Futures on finding a part-time gig or starting her own business. “When we were filling out the insurance, I kept asking, ‘Are you sure?”

The restored vehicle will replace Gerwing’s Yukon SUV which has more than 350,000 kilometres on it, and she’d love to pay it forward by gifting her former vehicle. However, ICBC regulations only allow the vehicle to be gifted to family.

“I’m going to sell it real cheap as a way to pay it forward,” said Gerwing, whose hobby is art.

She is planning to hold a fundraiser showing some of her paintings and drawings with proceeds from the event donated to the Archway Society for Domestic Peace.

“I’m heading back to the (Vernon) arts centre in February to make some sculptures, I’m very excited about that,” said Gerwing.

READ MORE: Vernon businesses wheel out van giveaway

READ MORE: Vernon mother surprised with refurbished van

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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