WILKES-BARRE TWP. — With a one-year-old in tow and twins on the way, Harry Pockevich knew what he had to do Monday in the United Way of Wyoming Valley/Wegmans two-minute shopping spree.
He had a plan, for sure.
“I’m going for the fish, meat and diapers,” Pockevich said before he and his wife, Kristin, went into the aisles to gather as much as they could and avoid unaware shoppers along the way.
When the cashier totaled the bill, it came to $1,267.28, an unofficial record for the event. Dave Grossi, Wegmans store manager, said he was happy for the grocery store chain to pay the bill.
“The United Way is so important to us and to the community,” Grossi said. “This campaign is vital to the community and it’s important to support the United Way because of all it does for so many in our community.”
And Grossi said the shopping spree is a good visual to see how the United Way campaign can help people.
“The shopping spree puts a face on what the United Way does,” Grossi said. “You can see how somebody who donated to the campaign can win something and that’s a great visual.”
Bill Jones, United Way of Wyoming Valley’s President/CEO, said the shopping spree is an event the agency looks forward to every year.
As a donor to United Way of Wyoming Valley’s 2018-2019 Annual Campaign, Gregg Andres’ name was entered into a raffle to win a number of campaign incentive prizes, Jones said. Andres is an employee of Schott Advanced Optics in Duryea and he donated the prize to his daughter and son-in-law.
Harry and Kristin Pockevich live in Dallas. They have a son, Oakland, 14 months, and they are expecting twins by the end of the year. Kristin’s parents, Gregg and Janet Andres live in Wyoming.
Bill Jones, President/CEO at United Way of Wyoming Valley, said people give to the United Way campaign to support the agency’s mission and community work.
“The incentives to support the campaign make that giving fun,” Jones said. “We really look forward to the shopping spree every year because of the generosity of our donors like Greg and the wonderful spirit of community support we receive from Wegmans. This may not be the Run for the Roses, but for us, it is the fastest two minutes of the campaign cycle.”
Andres said he didn’t want to run up and down the aisles at Wegmans, so he and his wife decided to donate the prize to their daughter and son-in-law. He said he donates to United Way to give back to the community.
“I’m very blessed and fortunate so I try to give back where I can,” Andres said. “We try to make a difference in the community where we can.”
When the two minutes were up, Pockevich said his plan went about as planned.
“I wanted to spend more time in the meat department, but I knew we needed the diapers,” he said.
“Kristin, who works as a pharmacist, said she was ecstatic with the results.
“We love Wegmans,” she said. “We give them a lot of business. We appreciate this opportunity today.”
Grossi said judging by the total, Pockevich knew what he was doing.
“He definitely had a great plan,” Grossi said. “This is our 13th or 14th year sponsoring this event and we are happy to do it.”
Grossi said the rules are simple: the winner gets two shopping carts and can have someone push one of the carts, but only one can select items. Kristin served as her husband’s helper.
The Pockevich family of Dallas are seen after they rang up groceries totaling $1,267.28 Monday in the United Way of Wyoming Valley/Wegmans shopping spree. From left: Bill Jones, United Way President/CEO; Janet Andres; Kristin Pockevich, holding her son, Oakland, 1; Harry Pockevich; Gregg Andres; Dave Grossi, Wegmans store manager; Matt Ceruti, United Way staff.
A screenshot of the total for Monday’s United Way/Wegmans free shopping spree: $1,267.28.
Harry Pockevich tosses some frozen seafood into his cart as he races through Wegmans during Monday’s United Way of Wyoming Valley free two-minute shopping spree.