Customized Wisconsin Potato Harley-Davidson becomes centerpiece of charity event

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Ricky McCloud, winner of the Spudster, with David Schools, chairman of the board of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co.


ANTIGO, Wis. — One lucky person in South Carolina –Ricky McCloud –is tooling around on a Harley-Davidson Sportster XL883C that’s bedecked with a Wisconsin staple –potatoes.

“I love the direction our annual direct-mail produce buyer sweepstakes has taken this year,” notes Tim Feit, director of promotions and consumer education for the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

Winner

“Officially, Cecil ‘Chico’ Caprioli from Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. was the winner. But in cooperation with the Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. corporate office, they donated the Spudster to the Piggly Wiggly Charity Classic, a charity auction. In these economic times, it’s nice to see people donate a prize to the greater good.”

McCloud, who bid on and won the Sportster during the Charity Classic, owns 13 Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina.

According to Steve Harkins, Category Manager, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., “The Piggly Wiggly Charity Classic is an annual fundraising event that includes live and silent auctions. The proceeds from this event are donated to numerous charitable organizations throughout our market area of South Carolina and coastal Georgia.”

Caprioli, who donated the Spudster to the Classic, is a customer of Alsum Farms and Produce, Inc, of Friesland, Wis. Alsum Farms and Produce, Inc., is a grower, packer and shipper of potatoes, repacker of onions and a wholesale distributor of a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since 2002, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association has launched annual nine-month direct-mail sweepstakes campaigns designed to better inform produce buyers about the advantages of purchasing from Wisconsin potato shippers.

Grand prize

At the end of each campaign, one lucky produce buyer is awarded the grand prize –a custom-painted Harley-Davidson Sportster XL883C known as the Spudster. The Sportster was purchased from Wausau Harley-Davidson in Wausau, Wis., and then custom-painted with the Wisconsin Potatoes logo by Sam Fonte, of Paint N Art in Wittenberg, Wis.

Fonte owns three Harleys and was raised on a Wisconsin farm.

“The campaign was a huge success this year,” notes Feit. “Buyers are taking greater interest in the benefits of Wisconsin potatoes –especially produce buyers East of the Mississippi because for them, our central location means less food miles. We offer a quality product, a large variety of potatoes, eco-friendly packaging and an eco-brand — Healthy Grown.”

The sweepstakes campaign, which ran from September 2009 through May 2010, provided buyers throughout the nation with opportunities to win monthly prizes, including $50, $100 and $150 gift cards from various national retailers.

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