30 Stops in 30 Days winnerTo celebrate the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority's 30th anniversary, the campaign 30 Stops in 30 Days was created to take the South Shore Tour Mobile throughout five counties in July. With a different stop each day, the Tour Mobile promoted attractions, festivals, businesses, restaurants and events in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper Counties.

Visitors who stopped at the South Shore Tour Mobile during the stops were entered to win a $25 gift card each day from Family Express. Additionally, for each stop a visitor made, they were entered to win the grand prize of a $2,000 gift card from Family Express. The grand prize drawing was held at the Indiana Welcome Center on Tuesday, July 30.

The winner of the $2,000 Family Express gift card grand prize, Nicole Hrapek of Crown Point, was drawn by the South Shore CVA's Rube Goldberg Machine TM. According to Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, the team wanted to do something unique and fun to cap their month-long 30th anniversary celebration.

"While building the Rube machine, we wanted to incorporate the South Shore's hospitality and tourism industry into the design. We looked to the last 30 years and the accomplishments we've made as an organization for inspiration on various scenes," said Batistatos.

The machine featured various scenes signifying some of the work the South Shore CVA has done in their 30 years of existence as well as highlights of the South Shore's hospitality and tourism industry. Scenes included a craps table representing the five local casinos, an airplane representing the South Shore Air Show and a water slide symbolizing the South Shore's water parks.

While attending a concert at Taltree Arboretum with her father on Friday, July 26, Hrapek walked by the Tour Mobile during its scheduled stop. Though not expecting to win either the $25 Family Express gift card, or the $2,000 Family Express gift card grand prize, Hrapek decided to try her luck and fill out the survey offered for a chance to win.

After filling out the survey, Hrapek was notified that she was the winner of the daily $25 Family Express gift card.

"I was really surprised and excited to have just won the $25 gift card," said Hrapek, who is a frequent customer of Family Express. After receiving her $25 Family Express gift card, Hrapek went on to enjoy her evening at Taltree Arboretum.

On Tuesday, July 30, Hrapek received an unexpected call from the South Shore CVA. "When I was told my name was drawn as the winner for the $2,000 Family Express gift card, I was just very, very surprised. My husband was shocked. I never win anything," said Hrapek.

According to Nathan Press, social media community manager for Family Express, Hrapek will be able to use the gift cards on anything in Family Express. From gasoline to necessities, Hrapek will have $2,000 to spend how she'd like.

"Living really close to the Family Express in Winfield, my family already stops there often. The Family Express gift cards will help us with our everyday expenses. We are so thankful for this opportunity from the South Shore CVA and Family Express," said Hrapek.

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PHOTO CAPTION:

Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, stands with 30 Stops in 30 Days $2,000 Family Express gift card grand prize winner Nicole Hrapek and Nathan Press, social media community manager for Family Express.