The 2015 Christmas Shopping Spree winner Natalie Forrest and Ray with Valley Foods staff

Christmas Shopping Spree winner splurges

The Valley Echo’s second annual Christmas Shopping Spree contest was won by Natalie Forrest

Those shopping locally at participating Invermere retailers leading up to the holidays were entered into The Valley Echo’s second annual Christmas Shopping Spree contest. This year, the grand prize — a $1,000 shopping spree at the participating stores — was won by Natalie Forrest. The only condition of the prize was that it had to be spent locally, and in under an hour. And Natalie was up for the challenge on Saturday, December 20th.

Taking the biggest chunk out of the $1,000 was a snowboard from Syndicate, which she’d been eyeing for about a year. Along with her partner Ray Vowels and Valley Echo staff, Natalie also made her way to Crazy Soles for some quality pairs of socks and yoga accessories, then onto Canadian Tire for a slew of family sporting goods. And, to make the most of their limited time to shop, they also stopped into Valley Foods and Sobeys to purchase gift cards (that can be spent at any time).

Asked if the time limit was a challenge, Natalie said, “shockingly no, it was actually really easy to spend $1,000 that fast — I’ve never had that experience before!”

“We’re really grateful,” she said. “Each store in the valley is unique and has lots of really well thought out and interesting gifts. At a mall in the city, it’s just the same thing repeated over and over again.”