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Vintage coat sparks idea to help kids

From left, raffle winner Jan Elisabeth, Assurance Home Thrift Store Manager Gale Landrum and recipient Jess Merritt who is modeling the vintage coat. (Submitted Photo)

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A vintage coat, hat and purse ensemble, valued between $1,500 to $2,000, were donated to the Assurance Home Thrift Store. These items could have been priced and sold as usual, but Brinkman Randle of Pecos Flavors Winery + Bistro recognized a unique opportunity.

He told Thrift Store Manager Gale Lundrum, “If we sold 50 raffle tickets at $10 each, we could net $500 for the Assurance Home.”

Nancy Fleming agreed to help and offered the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art to showcase the event. Fleming works at the museum. Jess Merritt, a frequent client of the thrift store, volunteered to model the vintage coat.

It took about a month to sell all the tickets, and this past weekend in a reverse raffle and reception at the museum, Jan Elisabeth’s number was the last one drawn.

“Like a bingo blackout game, a reverse raffle is where the last number left wins,” Randle said. “Nancy appropriately printed out sad face emoji stickers to cover up the numbers as they were drawn.”

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The small crowd applauded when Elisabeth’s ticket was matched to the winning number, but the story didn’t end there. When Elisabeth bought the ticket at the thrift store, Merritt had let her know how interested she was to own it and Elisabeth promised to give the coat to her if she would win. True to her word, Elisabeth gave the coat to Merritt. “I saw Jess at the store and knew how much she wanted it,” Elisabeth said.

“Jess frequents the store for unique vintage clothing she wears and sells, and looks absolutely fabulous in the coat,” Landrum said. “It was the perfect ending to a perfect idea.”

The money raised benefits the Assurance Home, a facility for at-risk youth in Roswell. The thrift store is located at 916 E. McGaffey St. For more information, call 575-623-3664.

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