Going on a shopping spree: Volunteer takes home more than $1,500 worth of goods
May 13, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - A normal trip to the commissary usually takes Lilly Parkos two hours to gather items on her grocery list. Imagine the anxiety she felt when she learned she would only get two minutes to grab as much as she could as the winner of the second annual Commissary Shopping Spree.
"I was really, really tense. ... I couldn't sleep. ... I was dreaming about my strategy," said Parkos, who volunteers at the Amelia Earhart Playhouse and Treasure Trove Thrift Shop, and was selected through a random drawing held during the recent annual U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.
The former track and field athlete mapped out her strategy with her son and daughter minutes before the spree began.
"If you drop something, don't go back," said Sanja Parkos as she gave her mother a last bit of advice.
Parkos was allowed to place five carts in strategic locations around the store.
She had her gaze fixed on the anti-aging products on the health and beauty aisle and big plans for snatching steaks for her husband.
And while Parkos usually spends 20 minutes on each aisle during a regular trip, she wasted no time shoveling and flinging things into her cart once the spree was underway.
"Where's my cart ... I'm sorry, I need this," said Parkos as she headed to the meat department where she discovered someone had moved one of her prepositioned carts, and hurriedly rustled another from a willing, bystanding commissary patron who had two briskets already loaded in the cart.
As time wound down, she made her way back down the dog food aisle to scoop up a few more things for the family pet.
"It was harder than I thought it would be," she said winded after rolling the final buggy over the finish line before the tally.
"I haven't seen her run like that in a while," said Alex Parkos as he gathered his breath exhausted from running and coaching his mother during the sweep.
Though her children and friends were concerned she would become overwhelmed at the hurried pace of the spree, she managed to almost double the total from the previous year, racking up a total $1,520.48 worth of goods.
Earl McFarland, USAG Wiesbaden Army Volunteer Corps coordinator, said the spree was another way to show gratitude to volunteers for all that they do for the community.
As Parkos recuperated from the two-minute dash and breathed a sigh of relief, she shared some advice for fellow community members.
"It's great to volunteer and make some good friends at the theater and the thrift store," she said, urging people to support the local store through volunteering or patronage. "Thanks for giving me this opportunity. I wouldn't have gotten this if I wasn't a volunteer."
Community members interested in getting active with volunteering around the garrison can contact the Army Community Service Army Volunteer Corps located in Hainerberg Housing, Building 7790, or call civ (0611) 4080-254, mil 335-5242.