Special Shopping Spree For Special Cause

LUZERNE, Pa. -- In Luzerne County, it was a supermarket sweeps of sorts, a special prize for supporting a special cause.

Anthony Melf raced down the aisles of Gerrity's in Luzerne Thursday morning.

Melf was the winner of a 3-minute shopping spree. He won the spree by buying a raffle ticket. His name was randomly chosen by the Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the prize.

Money raised through the raffles benefits Northeast 211 HelpLine, which provides free 24/7 crisis support, ranging from suicide prevention to housing help and more.

"Anthony is such a nice guy. He supported us, he volunteered at our 5K, he bought a ticket and he won. He has a new apartment. We are so excited for Anthony," said Gert McGowan of Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Among those on hand to cheer him as he flew through the store was his sister.

"Oh, gosh. We were so excited like go, go, go. Don't waste time on the produce. But, hey, he got a lot of good stuff," said sister Maria Ryder of Kingston.

Melf finished the shopping spree happy with his haul.

"It was surreal it was fast, it was exciting, I loved the cheers, the energy from the front of the store. Just unreal. It was super fun. This was a very special morning and one that I won't soon forget," laughed Melf.

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