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Sweet Samaritan struggles to spread the joy

Owner Michelle Forward at The Lolly Jar in Greytown. PHOTO/ CAL ROBERTS

CAL ROBERTS
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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what if you’re already in the hospital?

One good Samaritan had their generosity temporarily thwarted this week when they tried to spread a little joy, one bag of pick-and-mix at a time.

The Lolly Jar in Greytown, touted as the ultimate do-it-yourself pick-and-mix has given away $1000 worth of store credit as part of More FM’s Credit King promotion.

The recipient of the award, who wishes to remain anonymous, was stunned by the news she had won – “Just a little bit, was not expecting that at all.”

From Wellington, the winner was in Greytown visiting friends when she bought some sweets at the Lolly Jar and entered the draw.

After winning, her father gave her the idea to package the lollies for children in hospital.

“One thousand dollars’ worth of lollies is a heck of a lot not to share.

“And which kid doesn’t like a lolly?”

Two years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that prompted the idea of passing on the lollies to a hospital.

“I spent a lot of time at Wellington Hospital and I’ve always wanted to give back, but I never really knew how to give back.”

But when she approached the hospital to see if had permission to give out the goods, the offer was turned down.

A spokesperson for Capital and Coast District Health Board spelled out the bad news for children in hospital.

“As the main health providers in our region, it is important that we are role models for healthy choices in our communities and that the healthy choice is the easy choice when people are at our campuses.”

The winner does not blame them for having a healthy eating policy.

“I totally respect that.”

But now she’s stuck with more lollies than one person could possibly eat.

She, along with a friend, came up with a work-around.

“Instead of giving the hospital lollies as such, we could raise funds using the lollies.”

“I don’t know enough people to spend $1000 on lollies, and I would hate for the prize to go to waste, so what better way than to share the joy?”

The Lolly Jar stocks all the old favourites, acid drops, fizzy cola bottles – and for the discerning candy connoisseur, coconut fairy mushrooms.

Owner Michelle Forward said for many, her business offered a nostalgic experience.

“It’s a special treat for people to travel back in time to their childhood memories.”

She estimated the winner would walk away with more than 27 kilos from their product range.

“We sell things for fifty cents too, so she could buy 2000 of those.”

“When people entered [the draw], a lot of people said they might donate it to schools to fundraise with them.”

Forward said the credit could be put to use sorting gifts for friends and family.

The winner said there were already a couple of personal orders in from people who knew she had won, “but it hasn’t made a dent”.

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