DuBOIS — It was a youngster’s dream come true Tuesday morning in the toy aisles of the DuBois Walmart.
Six-year-old Keegan Stanisic, and his family, who are residents of Snow Shoe, got to live out that dream after being one of just three grand prize national winners of Walmart and Nickelodeon’s Toy Run: Family Style Shopping Spree sweepstakes.
The children’s entertainment brand and retailer partnered to bring back the iconic 90s classic and give youngsters the chance to win a three-minute shopping spree worth up to $3,000 in the toy aisles of their local Walmart — just in time for Christmas.
In addition to the shopping spree, the prize package also included transportation to the Toy Run, $500 in spending money and shipment of the products to the winner’s home.
The grand prize winners were selected from more than 150,000 entries. Other winners are from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and College Station, Texas. Ten runner-up winners each received a $500 Walmart gift card.
Lindsey Williams, director of brand management at Walmart, said the sweepstakes, which started on Oct. 15 with the deadline for entries on Nov. 4, was open to youngsters between the ages of 6 and 11 in the continental U.S.
“We are coming out and we are staking our claim as ‘America’s Best Toy Shop,’ and what better way to do that then partner with Nickelodeon and bring back this iconic, highly recognizable event that we all loved to watch in the 80s,” said Williams. “And bring it back and let some kids really truly experience the magic of Christmas in that way.”
Since Snow Shoe doesn’t have a Walmart store, Williams said they reached out to Carol Williams, who manages the area.
“We said, ‘Hey, Carol, what do you think? Which store would be the best store for him to do this in,’” said Williams. “And so she just praised Howie Allen a lot, the store manager here, he’s been a phenomenal help. And we are just really thrilled with the way that it’s coming to life.”
“This is fantastic. This is great for the local economy, this is great for Keegan from Snow Shoe,” said Allen. “The fact that they selected our store in DuBois speaks again to the fact that DuBois is the best place to live and the best place to work. We’re excited to host Nickelodeon and all these folks from Bentonville, from L.A, New York City. They came in, they got to go to Dr. Doolittle’s, they enjoyed that, they thought it was fantastic. They went to Luigi’s and had a great time there, and I think a few of them even hit up The Hitching Post. It was pretty great.”
Allen said the DuBois Walmart was notified on Friday that the store was selected for Keegan’s shopping spree.
“Our store was selected from a geography standpoint, and our store associates always come together when we’re mounted with a difficult situation,” said Allen. “Everyone comes together, and our community is fantastic and our store is full of great people from the area. That’s what affords us the opportunity to do stuff like this on such a short notice.”
“We put in a lot of hard work yesterday and the day before, and a lot of our folks did a lot of great things over the weekend,” said Allen, noting that the toy department manager, assistant manager and co-manager “really just crushed it.”
Keegan had a base run of three minutes and was able to get some extra shopping spree time when he placed five “power items” in his cart.
There was lots of silly string and a large crowd of family and Walmart employees waiting to congratulate Keegan when he reached the finish line.
“You trashed the place,” Allen joked as he high-fived Keegan, who had at least five cart-loads of toys.