=====FROM DEC. 7, 2015=====
By ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
After several weeks of being displayed throughout Liberal, the 2006 Mercedes Benz offered as a prize at the end of Saturday evening ʼs Christmas parade found a home Saturday evening with winner Doug LaFreniere. “I feel wonderful about it. It ʼll really come in handy because my daughter ʼs car is getting old and I know she ʼll probably fight me for it,” LaFreniere joked, “But it ʼs really a blessing, it really is.” LaFreniere and his wife Karen said they have entered the drawing each year it has been part of the parade. LaFreniere added the parade is only part of their Christmas season tradition, with another part being the Folk Art Festival. Upon hearing his name called during Saturday evening, LaFreniere admitted he had some mixed emotions.
LaFreniere added he had put his name in at only one of the locations where the car had been on display. “It was really mixed emotions because I was a bit sad for everyone else who didn ʼt win it but I was also glad because I could really use it. It was a real joy,” LaFreniere said. The first destination in the newly acquired Mercedes Benz will be to Texas to visit some family. “I think we ʼre going to end up going down to Lubbock and fighting with my daughter over who ʼs going to retain it,” LaFreniere said laughing. “I have a feeling she ʼs going to be calling and wanting to keep it because she took my car when I was out of town and I haven ʼt seen it since and I ʼve been driving one of the other cars.” Both LaFrenieres agreed they would sign up for the car drawing again and also praised this year ʼs parade festivities. “It ʼs a great event and you see a lot of people,” LaFreniere said. “You can stay at home the other days of the year but you have to come out to one of these events and this one is a lot of fun and a lot of people put a lot of effort into it so I would encourage everyone to get involved and as you can see, you could even maybe win a car.” A big expression of thanks was also given.
“Both my wife and I would like to thank all the volunteers and the Leader & Times for putting on the event, it ʼs become such a wonderful tradition for the city,” LaFreniere said. “A lot of people put so much time and effort into this and their efforts should be noted.”