We admit, it's not exactly breaking news, but we're very excited to break this special announcement to the Southland Patches.
May 10 began as the Mother of All Bad Days in Cindy Ritchie’s life.
Ritchie’s daughter, Giavanna, forced to withdraw from her freshman year of all-honors courses at Homewood-Flossmoor High School because of a fever that hadn't subsided after 40 days, was feeling down. So Ritchie decided to take Giavanna to the tasty to lighten the mood before hitting the road for a long-awaited appointment with an infectious disease specialist.
Mother and daughter were dining outside when the day got much worse.
“I noticed some hustle and bustle around me … I look behind me, and my car is on fire in the parking lot,” Ritchie said. “It’s probably the most stressful time I’ve had in years—ever, I think.”
A Blueberry Hill waitress sympathetic to Ritchie's plight offered the use of her car so she could get Giavanna to the hospital for the appointment.
When Ritchie returned, the Mother of All Messages awaited. Patch.com told Ritchie she had won the Mother of All Sweepstakes, a Patch-sponsored nationwide contest for the ultimate mother's day gift: an all-expenses paid weekend trip to Los Angeles for a shopping spree and extreme spa pampering.
“I couldn’t even believe it. I read it and I read it and I read it. My daughter was sitting right next to me … and I said, ‘Giavanna, you are not going to believe this,’” Ritchie said. “It made my day.”
The prize includes an all-expenses-paid flight to Los Angeles, a two-night hotel stay of Ritchie’s choosing, a generous spa gift card and nearly $1,000 in spending money.
Best of all, Ritchie gets to bring along Giavanna.
“I was thrilled to find out I could take her and we would be able to do this together,” Ritchie said. “We’ve never made it to the West Coast. We’ve talked specifically about L.A., even up until two weeks ago. Literally that place, as opposed to anywhere else, we’ve wanted to go so bad.
Ritchie has lived in Homewood for the past 14 years. A Southland native, she grew up in New Lenox and attended Lincoln Way Central High School. She is currently a field support analyst at Markham Courthouse.
“Plus the whole spa thing, that part of it is something we never indulge in. We never have the extra money to just go get facials or do that kind of (thing),” Ritchie added. “This is like a dream for us, we’re going to feel like Hollywood. This is great for us, we’re so excited.”
While Ritchie and Giavanna still await the blood test result, Ritchie said the specialist is optimistic Giavanna’s illness simply needs to run its course and the teen will make a full recovery. In the meantime, Ritchie said, winning the sweepstakes has made life much more tolerable.
“That’s priceless to me, it’s beautiful,” she said. “This, without a doubt, is the best (Mother’s Day gift), because I get to give to her and I.”
Please return to Patch for an update on the fun when Ritchie and her daughter make their trip to California.