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Pam Levy, left, is overcome with emotion after finding out she won the Parent Life Network’s Canada’s Luckiest Baby contest while her husband Jon, right, holds their 18-month-old daughter Annabelle. Pam thought she was attending a Father’s Day barbecue at the New Glasgow Fire Department and was unaware of the surprise reveal. The Ebenezer family will receive a prize package worth $50,000, which includes a $20,000 RESP from the Canadian Scholarship Trust for Annabelle’s future education.
©THE GUARDIAN/Mitch MacDonald
NEW GLASGOW, P.E.I. – While it may have been Father’s Day, a P.E.I. mother received the surprise of a lifetime this weekend.
Ebenezer resident, Pam Levy, was surprised by her friends, famil and volunteer firefighters at New Glasgow Fire Department on Sunday when it was revealed she had won the Canada’s Luckiest Baby contest held by the Parent Life Network.
Pam, her husband Jon Levy and their 18-month-old daughter Annabelle, will receive a prize package worth $50,000, including a $20,000 RESP from the Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST), for winning the contest.
Announcing the winner included an elaborate surprise reveal.
Jon had told Pam, who was unaware she had won, they were going to a Father’s Day barbecue at the department.
However, the family was greeted by a member of the network upon arriving.
A fire truck in the parking lot then backed up to reveal a hidden crowd of more than 70 family members, friends and firefighters cheering for the family.
Pam wept tears of joy when her mother hugged her.
“I cannot believe it, I never thought I’d win this,” said Pam. “I’m in disbelief, I just (entered the contest) for fun just because, but this is really awesome.”
She noted that her husband did an excellent job of keeping the surprise a secret.
“He should be the one feeling special,” she said. “I’m really grateful for all of this.”
However, the event was also a nice Father’s Day gift for Jon, who was also in disbelief when first notified about the win two weeks ago.
“They took my Father’s Day,” Jon joked with a laugh before thanking his fellow firefighters for helping organize the event. “I really didn’t have that much to do with it except keeping it secret… A big thank you to all the firefighters, they gave up their Father’s Day to come and help. A lot of them could have been with their parents and instead they came here to spend it with us.”
He said winning the contest will be a big help for the family, which just saw Pam return to work to make some extra income.
“The twenty thousand RESP is going to be good for our little girl,” said Jon, a volunteer firefighter who runs the small business A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections P.E.I.
The Levy family is the sixth winner, and the first from the Maritimes, in the randomly drawn contest. The contest is held twice a year.
Pete Munro, of the Parent Life Network, said previous surprise reveals have been held at West Edmonton Mall, during gender reveal parties and even once at the winner’s parents’ house.
“It’s all dependent on how we can get sneaky and figure out how to surprise them in the coolest way possible… this is by far, one of my favourites,” said Munro, who thanked the members of the fire department. “Without the help of the whole volunteer firefighter community and their families, there’s no way we would have been able to put something this special together.”
Firefighter Julia Somers said members were happy to help with the surprise.
“It’s a very big deal for a small community and they’re a young family just starting out so it’s pretty exciting.”
Fire department Lieutenant Kenny Snow agreed and said the event, which included a barbecue and bouncy house for kids, grew into a larger Father’s Day celebration for the community.
“We have firefighters with their fathers here today so it’s a great combination,” he said. “(The Levys) happen to be in the firefighter group, it’s a family and this is what happens when we all get together.”