New Year’s Eve, the Conner family capped off their year-long 50th
anniversary celebration of their supermarket by hosting a block party
in the store parking lot and drawing from 250 names to see which lucky
customer would start the new decade one car richer.
hundred people showed up to eat John Conner’s famous barbecue,
visit with friends, and wait to find out who would take home the car.
festivities began at 11 a.m., and the drawing was done in
reverse—the 250 names were placed in a bin and drawn out one by
one over the course of the day. The last man standing, so to speak,
would take home a brand new burgundy 2009 Chevy HRR.
narrowing it down to just two people, the whole Conner gang—all
of Bernice and John Conner Sr.’s children, grandchildren, and
great grandchildren—mounted the makeshift stage, and John Conner
IV drew the last two names out of the bin.
waited until 3 p.m. on the dot to make the announcement.
know we’ve drug this thing out for 365-odd days, but we’re
going to wait another five minutes,” Travis Salyers announced to
the end, the runner-up was Judy Kehler, and she received a $100 gift
card to the store and a T-shirt. Dennis Waters, of Taylorsville, N.C.,
was the winner.
Conner Jr. presented a delightfully shocked Waters with the keys to the
car. After the photo-ops, Waters and his wife, Brenda, accepted
handshakes and congratulations from those nearby and began the process
of officially making the car theirs.
finalizing the deal, Waters joked about the tension leading up to the
said wait five minutes, and I thought I was going to die of a heart
attack!” he said.
Waters family, which had spend a lot of time on the islands this summer
visiting Brenda’s parents’ house on Ocracoke, made the
nearly nine-hour trip to Buxton—through snow and sleet and
ice—just for the drawing. Just in case they won.
though they may have given away a car, it seems the Conners feel like
the real winners.
you all for 50 great years,” John Conner Jr. said. “We
appreciate you welcoming us to the island 50 years ago and letting us
hope to be around for another 50.”