A not-so-routine fire drill on Thursday sent employees of Mental Health America out into the cold.
Ann Sparks, program director for the York City nonprofit, had no idea that a big prize was waiting for her in the snowy parking lot.
The black 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, delivered to her by tractor-trailer, was shiny and new, without a spot on it. As the grand prize winner of the United Way of York County's fundraising campaign, Sparks won the FLS Softail Slim bike, donated by the manufacturer. It has a retail price of almost $16,000.
"I am so not this type," said Sparks, sporting a kelly green jacket and a bright blond bob. "I've never sat on one before, let alone ridden one."
Giving back: When Sparks came out of the building, she was greeted by several members of the United Way's "prize patrol," who presented her with the bike, balloons and other goodies.
Sparks and other United Way donors who pledged $156 or more during the 2013 campaign were entered into a drawing for the grand prize and four other prizes.
She and her husband, Barry, said they give to the campaign each year. This is their first time winning a prize, they said, and it was a complete surprise.
"She had no idea," Barry said.
He joked that the couple is past the point of a mid-life crisis, and since they don't ride, they'll explore their options with the bike.
Mental Health America is a partner of the United Way, and Ann Sparks said she donates to the campaign because of all the organization offers York.
"I believe in everything they do to help the community," she said.
The campaign: The campaign raised $6.949 million for the United Way, and the names of prize winners were drawn at the conclusion of the 2013 Campaign Celebration and Awards event on Jan. 28.
In order to create an element of surprise, only their places of employment were announced that evening.
"It's a good way for us to thank the donors for their contributions," said Katie Mackereth, campaign manager for the United Way.
The prize giveaway offers an interesting twist to the campaign, she said.
"It's fun and exciting and amps up the campaign a little more," Mackereth said.
All but one prize winner has been announced. The United Way will surprise the final winner with a $1,000 Visa gift card, donated by York City's DOCEO Office Solutions Inc., at 9 a.m. Friday at Dallastown Middle School.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at email@example.com.