An unexpected Super Bowl bonanza

Winner of sweepstakes donates catered party, TV to Annapolis shelter

January 30, 2000|By Amy Oakes | Amy Oakes,SUN STAFF

In an act of generosity that would leave most football fans shaking their heads, Marilynn Katatsky won a big-screen television and a catered party for Super Bowl Sunday -- and then gave it away. But the people at Anchor House for Families are happier for it, and grateful to the Annapolis woman who opened her heart to the transitional shelter for the homeless.

"We were shocked and quite pleased that someone would think about this for our families," said Sonia Foreman, the program's director. "This doesn't happen very often."

So, instead of watching the St. Louis Rams take on the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV on small, older television sets, the three families in the support program will watch the gridiron action on a 52-inch RCA screen and be treated to a party supplied by Kraft and Coca-Cola Co., which sponsored the national contest.

Katatsky, a first vice president at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, said she immediately thought about donating the prizes to Anchor House after being notified that she was one of 34 grand-prize winners in the Kraft/Coca-Cola Super Bowl Comes to You sweepstakes. Her boss had told her about the contest.

"When there was an inkling that I would win, I called up the shelter and they were just thrilled," said Katatsky, who moved to Annapolis in August. "I'm just happy it's going to make some people happy."

Foreman said the party will be held at the largest of the three Annapolis houses owned by Anchor House, an outreach program of Annapolis Area Ministries. The other two families will gather at the house and all will watch the game together.

"I'm sure they had planned to watch the Super Bowl, but not like this," Foreman said of the 16 residents of Anchor House.

Tonya Kemper, who has been contracted by the companies to run the event, said the party will be catered with enough food to feed 20 people. She'll arrive well before kickoff to hang banners, posters and other decorations.

Because this is a promotional tool, she said, the food, which includes pizza, submarine sandwiches, salsa and chips, will be made with Kraft products, and the beverages will be Coca-Cola products. The wall decorations and tableware will bear logos of both companies.

Kemper, who is organizing her second Super Bowl party, said she thinks Katatsky is the only one of the 34 winners to donate her prize. Although that required extra paperwork, Kemper said, the preparation is the same.

"This contest is basically catering to the mother who gets stuck throwing a Super Bowl party," Kemper said. "We do all that and we clean up after."

Katatsky said she entered the contest on the Internet after an advertisement ran in Sunday newspapers two weeks ago. Last week, she received documents notifying her that she was a finalist, and learned Thursday that she had won.

Then she called Anchor House and offered the television and the party.

"I think it's one of the most important shelters here," Katatsky said. "This has been a way to get involved in the community."

Foreman said the families have decided to sell the television set at the organization's annual silent auction in the fall. The houses already have television sets, though much smaller and older ones.

"They thought this could be a good way to raise enough money to build a fence along the property so the children could have a safe place to play," Foreman said.

Katatsky said she will attend the party today, which begins about 4: 45 p.m. But, she said, she's more interested in the celebration than the game.

"I'm a Redskins fan," she said.

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