Stuart Shaw’s family can eat lobster, crab and filet mignon for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few weeks should they choose to.
Shaw of Bethlehem won a three-minute shopping spree at Wegmans supermarket on W. Tilghman Street in west Allentown and managed to grab $1,559 worth of groceries as he raced through the store this morning.
As a United Way donor, Shaw was automatically entered to win the Wegman’s spree by contributing at least $175 through his work as an actuary at Guardian Life Insurance in Bethlehem, according to Sarah Cooke, spokeswoman for the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Shaw and his sons, Tyler, 15, and Jacob, 12, arrived at the store early to scope out what they wanted. When the time came, they made a beeline to the seafood and meat sections, and Shaw nabbed several frozen lobster tails, packages of shrimp and cans of crab meat before scooping up pounds of filet mignon. Next came a small grill, expensive cheeses and packages of bacon.
Afterwards, he thanked Wegmans for its generosity and praised the work of the United Way. Shaw said his family planned to eat well for the rest of the summer.
Tyler and Jacob Shaw, who had raced after their father with a shopping cart, joined in the spirit of the event with gusto. “I thought it was a lot of fun,” Tyler, a Liberty High School student, said afterwards. “I was actually surprised how much we got in three minutes.”
Wegmans might have been surprised also because they had originally set the limit at $1,000 worth of groceries, but allowed the Shaw family to keep the whole $1,559 haul. Jamie Downey, Wegmans service manager, joked that “anybody that takes time to put bacon in their cart,” should get the whole cart’s worth.
Tom Mohr, account manager for the local United Way, said such incentive prizes as the spree create buzz and public awareness for the group’s fundraising campaigns. “It’s a way of thanking our donors,” he said.
In the 2010 campaign, the group raised $9.7 million for 73 programs at 46 local agencies, according to Cooke. The United Way funds health and human services projects, specifically for education, basic needs and the elderly.
Downey said it was the first time the Tilghman Street Wegmans had donated a shopping spree to United Way but added that it fit in with the store’s philosophy. “One of our values at Wegmans is making a difference in the community,” she said.