The Williams family was the lucky winner of The Ultimate Family Reunion with celebrity chef Pat Neely. Family Dollar Inc. held a competition called “Just Add Family.” Out of thousands of entries, Plainfield, Illinois, resident Sandy Williams caught the attention of the judges, enabling her family to win the all-expenses paid family reunion for up to 100 guests and a year’s worth of groceries from Family Dollar. Pat Neely surprised Sandy Williams with the news at her home. The reunion was held at Washington Park on the South Side of Chicago.
Tom Joyner was present for the Williams’ Family Dollar shopping trip. “Family Dollar is not a sponsor; Family Dollar is a partner with the ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show,’ ” Joyner said. “That means we share the same vision for our community, and family is first always. Family solves all problems if we can just keep the family together.”
Rolling out spoke with Williams and asked her a few questions about the contest.
How and when did you discover the contest?
I found out on Facebook. I entered back in April and they wanted to know why did I think my family was unique. I told them I think my family was unique because of unconditional acceptance. I am pro family.
How has the family reunion experience been?
We get together every two years anyway. We know the value and the meaning of family. Our family needs to know about each other.
How has the Family Dollar experience been?
It has been awesome. They rolled out the red carpet. We got shuttle bus service from my home that is an hour away from Washington Park and shuttle service back home. We felt like celebrities with the paparazzi behind us. Every moment someone is flashing your picture. It was an awesome event.
Tell us about celebrity chef Pat Neely visiting you.
We surprised my 89-year-old grandfather. He was so happy to see Mr. Neely, because he watches his show all the time. It surprised us that he knew who he was.
How did this contest affect your family?
I don’t think we can top anything like this and the added bonus was meeting Tom Joyner. You can’t top that.
You won a year’s worth of groceries from Family Dollar. What are you going to do with it?
We are going to donate to my aunt’s foundation, The Joshua House Foundation.
Take a look at images from the Williams’ Family Dollar shopping experience below.
Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at: https://precise.bandcamp.com/album/ladies-love-mixtapes-the-ep