Longtime golf buddies Ted Donaldson and Cliff Lindskog left The Morning Star chilled and a little richer Saturday morning.
The Vernon residents jumped in a long line around 5:30 a.m. and learned at 9:30 they had won the $500 big prize in the newspaper’s annual Holiday Bear Extravaganza Contest, in a random draw. They split the money evenly.
The first 50 customers through the doors with a minimum of $500 worth of receipts from local businesses received a complimentary Bluster the Polar Bear, a Gund collectable.
“We’ve been coming down for the bears for eight years,” said Donaldson, a 73-year-old retired B.C. Tel employee. “We have always said we would split the money if we won. We were No. 5 in line this morning. I get the bear for my wife Gloria; we’ve been married fror 51 years and she likes to keep the bears on our bed.”
Lindskog, a 70-year-old former pharmaceutical rep, said they stuck to hot chocolate as their drink of choice through the night. The bear goes to his wife Chris.
“It was too cold to to put rum in it,” laughed Lindskog, who will spend his $250 at Askew’s Foods in Armstrong, where his son-on-law Wayne Wicklund, a huge Canucks fan, works.
The men, who were both bundled up to the max, talked as they waited in line.
“It was minus eight so it wasn’t too cold,” said Donaldson, who will spend his winnings at Safeway. “We’re golf buddies so we lied to one another with some stories.”
First in line at 1 a.m. was Bonny Taylor, a stay-at-home mother of two who has been collecting The Morning Star bears for more than a decade.
“I didn’t sleep and I have to take my daughter to a birthday party by 10 so it’s going to be a long day,” laughed Taylor, who chatted with friends to stay awake all night.
Publisher Ian Jensen, sales manager Trent Dansereau, graphic designer Lisa Starke and sales reps Lynnaya Munroe, Stephanie Stecyk and Sue Beugeling greeted the customers with coffee and smiles.