Written by The Chicago Defender
CHATHAM — More than 113 people won free $103 gift cards to a South Side grocery store Monday, mainly thanks to TV Host Judge Greg Mathis.
The giveaway, the first ever at longtime neighborhood grocer Chatham Food Market, 327 E. 79th St., attracted hundreds of people after it was publicized on V103 (102.7 FM).
Mathis did not attend the noon event, but V103's Joe Soto and Raymond "Romanski "Luv" Wade broadcast live from the store.
The cards can be used to purchase any items sold at the longtime neighborhood grocery store, said Sam Hanson, general manager for Chatham Food Market.
"Gift card holders can purchase any item sold here and taxes will be deducted from their card," Hanson said. Because of the demand, Chatham Food Market also gave away 10 gift cards worth $103 each.
But others weren't so lucky after waiting in the cold.
Callie Gentry, 58, traveled to the store by bus from her Auburn Gresham home after hearing about the event on the Steve Harvey Morning Show. But like dozens of others, she arrived too late to get a card.
"As soon as I heard it over the air I jumped on the bus to get here, and you mean to tell me I did that for nothing?" said Gentry, who arrived at the store around 12:45 p.m.
Gentry and others who did not arrive in time to receive a gift card were given a cloth shopping bag from the store.
Betty Thomas, 57, who also did not receive a gift card, ended up shopping at the store anyway.
"Next time I will get here early," she said.