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Cape resident winner of Goodwill’s ‘So You Think You’re Thrifty’ contest

By Staff | Oct 18, 2010

A Cape Coral resident was named the 2010 winner of Goodwill’s “So You Think You’re Thrifty” contest.
Goodwill Director of Public Relations Kirsten O’Donnell said this is the second year the “So You Think You’re Thrifty” contest has been held. She said Goodwill began the contest last year because the store wanted to search for the thriftiest shopper in Southwest Florida.
O’Donnell said they needed a way to honor those who have embraced thrift shopping and those who are trying to find really good deals due to the current state of the economy.
This year O’Donnell said they had 42 people come out for auditions, which ranged from Punta Gorda to Naples and across to Clewiston.
Although a couple more showed up for auditions last year, the contest received twice as many votes online. The online votes totaled 1,600 compared to last years 700 votes.
O’Donnell said Cape Coral resident Rachell Skerlec was the first person that came in for an audition this year.
Skerlec is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her three children.
“My friends call me the Goodwill Goddess and say I should have my own TV show to show folks how to make over their wardrobes and home decor by using thrift store bargains,” she said. “They are always amazed at the cool things I find at Goodwill and the great prices for what I get.”
Skerlec said she heard about the contest through a friend and decided to enter because she thought it would be fun, since it is her “favorite boutique.”
In addition to Skerlec, Teresa McCoskey of Naples, Denise Williams of Clewiston and Darren Yonts of Fort Myers were among the four finalists who received a $100 Goodwill shopping spree, which were videotaped and placed on Godwill’s website for individuals to vote on.
“It was really tough to pick the top four,” O’Donnell said.
Skerlec received 42 percent of the overall votes, making her the winner of the “So You Think You’re Thrifty” contest.
Skerlec said she used the $100 shopping spree to redecorate her son’s room due to issues he has with asthma from time to time. She said her son’s doctor suggested that she get rid of the carpeting in his room to help his asthma.
“As luck would have it, I walked into my neighborhood Goodwill and there was a stack of some nice looking wood laminate flooring,” she said. “I knew that would be the way to go. That was my inspiration for how to spend my $100.”
With the left-over money she bought a plastic floor protector to go under her son’s desk and two twin mattress pads to help cut down on the amount of allergens on the beds.
She also wanted to tackle the stuffed animal collection, which were kept on the beds to again decrease the amount of dust on the bed.
“I got two mesh laundry bags, washed all their dolls and tossed them in the mesh laundry bags and then hung those on the wall away from the bed,” Skerlec said. “This way they get to keep all their babies and take them out whenever they like, but they no longer have to worry about them falling to the ground as they sleep or collect dust on their beds.”
The $100 also allowed her to purchase a big cork board and push pins for the wall, along with a new curtain rod and low allergen curtains to match the sheets and an ice cream maker.
Her prize package includes a $250 Goodwill gift certificate, tickets to Goodwill’s Tux & Trees Gala and an appearance in a Goodwill Advertisement.
Skerlec said she is going to spend the $250 on gifts for friends and family for the holidays.
O’Donnell said Skerlec really impressed them because she loves the challenge of going into the stores and finding unique items.
“She finds a lot of creative things to do with the items she finds,” she said.
“We are really excited,” O’Donnell said about Skerlec winning. “I think she is a really neat person and we are thrilled to have her a part of this.”
O’Donnell said the “So You Think You’re Thrifty” contest will “absolutely” be held again next year.
Skerlec said she enjoyed the contest because it provided her with an opportunity to share how much she enjoys shopping at Goodwill.
“They do a lot of good in the community with all the programs they offer to needy populations, but it was nice to be able to tell them how much the bargains we find at their stores can help the average Joe as well,” she said.