Shopping spree pulls a cart for charity


Carol Van Baalen is darn lucky — so lucky, that the 56-year-old librarian from Brown’s Point won a raffle that she didn’t even enter.

Van Baalen won a 100-second shopping spree at the Dash Point Metropolitan Market after a co-worker, Judy Renzema, bought three tickets in her name for the Federal Way Sunrise Rotary Club raffle.

Renzema is also secretary of the Rotary Club and was in charge of selling a pre-set number of tickets before the event. She called Van Baalen a week before to let her know she had been entered.

Then, on Nov. 6, Van Baalen received a phone call telling her that she had won.

“I had doubts that it was true,” she said.

But it was true — 100 seconds to grab everything possible and fill a cart, similar to the old game show “Supermarket Sweep.” The only items that were off limits were wine, beer and the $250 bottles of balsamic vinegar. Only two selections of each meat, seafood and poultry were allowed.

A few days before the event, Van Baalen mapped out her path at the market. First to the bakery for treats for the office, then to the meat section. She enlisted the help of her 22-year-old daughter, Kari, to push the cart.

On Tuesday morning, Van Baalen and her daughter waited at the store entrance, discussing their route and testing out the performance of the cart. When the store manager announced the time to begin, the pair took off.

They worked calmly but rapidly, grabbing boxes of cookies, chocolates, Greek yogurt, Australian red licorice, ham, steak and turkey.

If she had enough time, Van Baalen planned to gather soup for charity, but time ran out just as she hit the beginning of the aisle.

The event raised money for charity anyway. Proceeds from the raffle will go to take needy children on shopping sprees this holiday season, Renzema said. Last year, the event raised more than $1,000 in raffle tickets.

The total of Van Baalen’s shopping spree was $335.02. Metropolitan Market and Sunrise Rotary each paid half.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.


Get involved

To learn more or make a donation toward Federal Way Sunrise Rotary’s charity holiday shopping spree, call Pat Curran at (206) 228-6292 or e-mail

The Federal Way Sunrise Rotary meets at 7:15 a.m. Tuesdays at Marie Callendar’s Restaurant, 31920 Gateway Center Blvd. S.

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