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Supermarket Sweep winner gives it all back

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Nov 25, 2020

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

On Nov. 16, Amy Lynch of Bokeelia won the Supermarket Sweep grand prize, given by the local Kiwanis Club for its fundraising event.

Lynch has been granted 10 minutes to zip through the local Winn-Dixie on Stringfellow Road in St. James City, grabbing up all the grocery items she can, up to $1,000.

Although most people might jump at the chance to score that much in free supermarket items, Lynch says she never planned to win.

“I was just trying to donate,” said Lynch. “I have everything I need.”

Instead, she plans to give all the items to the Beacon of Hope, for taking care of everyone on the island. “The island gives a lot to me. It’s a place I feel at home,” said Lynch, who had been coming to Pine Island for 30 years before moving here five years ago. “I’d rather be here than anywhere else.”

Lynch said she chose the Beacon because it gives so much to the community and she assumed it could use grocery items to continue to feed people who need it most.

The idea of keeping her winnings for herself never even occurred to her.

“You know, 2020 has been so heavy and tough for everybody,” said Lynch, “and I wanted to do something, so I made donations here and there and then I won this and I thought…oh, no.”

Lynch, who had forgotten the date of the Facebook live stream draw for the winner, said she was stunned when she received the call from Kiwanis member Cindy Bickford telling her she’d won and has decided to ask one of the local PILOT program youth to run through Winn-Dixie for her, gathering items needed for the Beacon.

“I was stunned and then I just started crying,” said Lynch. “My intent when I bought the ticket was that I was going to donate it. I really didn’t think I’d win, but my intention was never to keep it. That was never for me. I just hope it makes life a little less worrisome for some people.”