LAURINBURG — Mary McInnis has yet to sit behind the wheel of her shiny new two-seater, but she already has a full list of friends and family who are anxious to become passengers.
Since being named the winner of a 2013 Chrysler 200 convertible at last Saturday’s black-tie hospital fundraiser gala “Putting on the Ritz,” McInnis’ answering machine has been filled with messages.
“They call and say, ‘Oh, I’m so glad you won my car,’” she said with a laugh.
McInnis’ name was on one of three raffle tickets that came with the invitation to the gala for her, her husband and her son. She wasn’t able to attend, but her friend and neighbor Melanie Pracht was, and couldn’t wait to tell her the news.
“I called her right away, and said, ‘Are you sitting down? Because you got the car!” she said. “And Mary said, ‘Oh no I didn’t.”
It’s not the first time McInnis’s name has been drawn for a prize. She won a “hobby horse” at the age of 7, a ring she wears on her pointer finger from when Bob’s Jewelers first opened, and the recent 50/50 raffle held at a Kiwanis Club dinner.
“I guess I didn’t realize how lucky I’ve been,” she said.
McInnis has lived in the community for several years, having worked as an x-ray technician at Scotland Memorial, Laurinburg Surgical Clinic and Ortho of the Carolinas. She attended the first Ritz, when the event was casual and beach-themed.
For McInnis, the car is a symbol of her ties to Laurinburg and to her first employer in Scotland County, but she’s not yet sure how she’ll handle going topless.
“As my husband would say, it’ll blow my hair,” she said, touching her perfectly coiffed mane.
But, she won’t be able to get out of giving a ride to her grandkids, who live in Chapel Hill and are especially excited about the car’s color — a light, almost Carolina, blue.
“They can’t wait to go for a ride in Nana’s convertible,” she said.