Contest Winner ‘Shocked’ by 1st Choice RV Redo

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June 19, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

Marsha Paul (left), winner of a recent RV makeover contest by 1st Choice RV of Goshen, Ind., listens as 1st Choice RV office manager Connie Sears (center) and owner Anita Carpenter announce the surprise unveiling of Paul’s refurbished RV. (Goshen News photo)

What started out as just a promotional contest to earn a little brand recognition for their RV repair and supply company turned into a heartwarming story of generosity and giving during a special open house at the 1st Choice RV facility in Goshen, Ind., Saturday (June 17), according to a report by the Goshen News.

According to Connie Sears, office manager at 1st Choice RV, Saturday’s open house was held primarily to help introduce customers to the company’s new location in the 2400 block of Supreme Court next to ABC Supply Co. on the city’s south side.

Originally located in Benton, Sears said the owners of the approximately three-year-old company decided to relocate the business to its new, larger location on Supreme Court in order to allow the company room to grow.

As part of the move, the company held a promotional $2,500 RV makeover giveaway aimed at drumming up a little business. Little did they know at the time that the contest would turn into something much, much more, explained Anita Carpenter, part-owner of 1st Choice RV.

“So we held the contest drawing in May, and Marsha Paul from Argos turned out to be the contest winner,” Carpenter said of the contest. “She’s a widow; she has two kids; she’s a school bus driver; and her and her husband bought the RV brand new. And then he died about a year after that.

“It definitely needed a little TLC, so she gave us a list of repairs she would like, and we decided we could do what she wanted for $2,500. But then after we inspected the RV we found her roof was rotted almost all the way through. So Connie and I were torn, because it’s like, do you do what she wants, or do you do what she needs? Because if the roof wasn’t fixed, in a year the RV wouldn’t be worth anything.”

Faced with this unexpected dilemma, Sears began exploring options, and eventually decided on the idea of seeking donations from around Elkhart County to try and get all of the necessary repairs done.

“So we reached out to the community, and we ended up getting the roof, the flooring, the furniture, everything that we’ve put into this RV donated by our affiliates and other people, and we donated the labor hours to make it happen,” Sears said. “So what was supposed to be $2,500-worth of repairs ended up being about $10,000 at this point, if not more. And the best part is, we’ve invited Marsha here today for her RV makeover reveal, and she has no idea we did all of this. She’s just expecting the repairs from her list. So we’re really excited to see her reaction.”

And when the door to the facility was finally opened Saturday afternoon and Paul was lead in to see her newly refurbished RV, Sears, Carpenter and their colleagues at 1st Choice RV weren’t disappointed.

“All I can say is, ‘Wow.’ They did a marvelous job. I can’t believe it,” Paul said following the surprise reveal, eventually stopping to give a big hug to Sears before stepping up into the RV to take a look around. “I’ve got this marvelous new furniture, new beds, a new roof … It’s just amazing. I’m shocked.”

To read the full report click here.


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