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With a $2 bet on the line, Bloomingdale Lions roar through Meijer’s

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“Here’s the deal,” said Marv Roehlke of the Bloomingdale Lions Club. “Each team has a grocery list and a budget for purchasing Christmas dinner for a needy Bloomingdale family."

“You have one hour to shop at the Bloomingdale Meijer’s store," said Roehlke. "Without using a calculator, the team that comes closest to spending their budget without going one penny over wins the bet. Who’s in?”

Instantly, 18 club members throw $2 into the proverbial hat. Then, off to Meijer’s for their annual whirlwind shopping spree.

It’s 8 a.m. on a snowy Saturday morning. Each of the six teams has:

  • an experienced shopper,
  • a walking calculator,
  • a cart pusher/eagle eye.

Opposing team members have been known to sneak extra food items into shopping carts. It’s all done in the holiday spirit.

“We’ve been holding this event for many years,” said Roehlke. “It’s a fun holiday event.”

Upon arrival at the designated Lions club register (no one queues up behind these bulging shopping carts!), the bill totals $850. One team is $3.51 under their budget. They split the $36 pot.

Lastly, it’s time to deliver the carloads of holiday cheer to local households. Each family also receives gift cards donated by Meijer’s. In addition, the Lions donate $500 each to the Bloomingdale Food Pantry and Family Shelter Service for victims of domestic violence.

“It's hard to believe it but one driver got lost,” said Roehlke. “Next year, we’re going to give him a compass.”

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