Couple takes home table, golf bag from $500 spree

August 21, 1994|By Shirley Leung | Shirley Leung,Sun Staff Writer

George Rash Jr. and his wife, Katie, made four lists and checked them twice before heading out to the new BJ's Wholesale Club in Bel Air on Wednesday.

The Abingdon couple's frolic began a little earlier this year when they were told they had won a $500 shopping spree, courtesy of the store, which is just south of the intersection of Routes 24 and 924. The Bel Air store is the Massachusetts-based chain's sixth in Maryland.

The couple entered the drawing at the store's grand opening last month. Mr. Rash's name was picked among 10,000 entries, said operations manager Marty Branzell.

"It's just a pleasant surprise," said Mrs. Rash before the Wednesday shopping spree. "Neither one of us has won anything before."

The couple didn't take long to spend their small fortune. The 2 1/2 -acre store offers everything from thigh cream to tires to tuna fish -- all at wholesale prices. Shoppers pay an annual $30 membership fee to shop there.

To make their shopping experience easier, the couple canvassed the aisles several times on visits before the spree, making wish lists and adding up prices. Their research made the spree more of a sprint -- though there was no shopping time limit.

Mr. Rash, a 35-year-old math teacher and football coach at Perryville High School, went straight to an aisle to snatch a gray console for his new Ford pickup truck. The $39.95 console holds tapes, sodas and spare change.

Then, as if he had memorized the warehouse layout, he steered his shopping cart to the sports section to grab a gray $59.95 golf bag.

"I'm done," Mr. Rash announces. "The rest of it is hers."

Mrs. Rash, a 33-year-old day care provider, then led her husband to an oak kitchen table and chair set. The $139.99 table and $179.98 chairs -- four of them -- would use most of their money.

"This is a big decision," Mrs. Rash said.

The couple brought the table off the rack, eyeing it carefully and testing the chairs.

"When else would we get a new table?" Mrs. Rash said. "All the furniture we have is hand-me-downs -- so this is a real treat."

So the boxes for the table and the chairs went into the cart.

With less than $100 left, the couple spent the remainder on folding chairs, bathroom rugs and computer paper.

In 20 minutes, they had stuffed two red shopping carts.

The tally, including sales tax, was $527.23.

"We should have brought a calculator," Mrs. Rash said. "But I guess we were too excited."

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