Ken Ford is the proud owner of a 16-foot War Eagle brand aluminum fishing boat with a 40HP Mercury Jet Flow outboard motor and trailer following a second contest held by the United Way of Santa Rosa County Friday to give the boat away. Due to the nature of the first boat giveaway in July, none of the three finalists won. UWSR Executive Director Guy Thompson said the organization felt the contest was not fair to the finalists and so held the second drawing and guaranteed a winner.
In July, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Major Bob Johnson randomly selected three finalists out of 500 for a boat giveaway to be held July 17. United Way Director of Development Kyle Holley said the inspiration for the contest was to continue the momentum of this year’s tenth annual Fishin’ with a Mission Bass Tournament, which raised over $5,000 with 107 registered persons participating.
Thompson said the rules for the insurance purchased for the prize mandated the possibility no one would win. “When it got time for the three finalists that were drawn to pull an envelope, there were more than three envelopes. There were multiple envelopes. So the possibility of not winning a boat…came about, and we felt that the perception was on our part and on the public’s apart that there we would be a boat won.”
Friday, the same finalists had one in three odds to win, thereby guaranteeing someone would be taking home the boat. Ken Ford came away the big winner while the other two won $115 vouchers.
Ford said, “United WaySanta Rosa is a great program; it helps our community and I’m happy to support it.” UWSR purchased the prize from BlackWater Sport Boats in Jay. All prizes were awarded on the spot.
Despite the contest rules indicating the fact no one might win, Thompson said UWSR didn’t feel the original process was entirely fair the way it was presented. Thompson said, “We felt that the perception was on our part and on the public’s part that there we would be a boat won and we wanted to make sure we carried with our process…We wanted somebody to win a boat and somebody did, pure and simple and the bottom line is that and they won one and they were happy, and it was conducted in a way that was fair.”