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TELL CITY – Kathy Richmer didn't believe the news a surprise caller delivered Wednesday evening, even though the message came from a white-bearded man dressed in a red coat.
"You just won a new Camaro," Santa Claus said from the upstairs council chambers at City Hall.
"Oh, I guess I'll take that," Richmer replied. It took a couple more minutes of convincing for Richmer to accept that the call wasn't a hoax and she was overcome with emotion as she walked into the city council chambers at City Hall, packed with police officers.
Richmer won the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro through a Fraternal Order of Police raffle. Santa, accompanied by Mrs. Claus, drew names for the car and several other smaller prizes donated to the cause.
Richmer purchased two tickets, including the winning one, through Indiana State Police Trooper Mark Lehmkuhler.
"As soon as they told me who I bought the ticket from I believed them," the winner said. Her two children, 18-year-old Molly and Michael, 16, arrived with their mom Wednesday and were nearly as speechless.
Richmer will be able to choose the color of her car and she climbed inside a sleek yellow model parked outside City Hall to pose for photos and to get a feel for the vehicle.
Reached Friday, the winner said she was looking through brochures detailing color schemes and various options for the car she'll soon be driving. Her big win was to be a major topic of discussion at Christmas gatherings. She's also getting plenty of requests from people who want to get behind the wheel.
"There's a long list of family and friends ready for a spin," she said.
The car raffle was the first for the local FOP chapter, with proceeds supporting programs such as Shop with a Cop, the Kenny Kellems Camp with a Cop and a scholarship program.