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Ready, set, shop! And it's all for charity

The Markus family has an annual Christmas tradition that is a little different than most families; it’s fun, competitive and all for a good cause.

Each year mom and dad, Tony and Marilyn Markus, put themselves and their kids to the test while fundraising for a local charity.

The game is simple; you have 20 minutes to fill your buggy with as close to $150 (tax included) of food.

The one closest to the $150 wins the coveted family trophy and then all the food is delivered to the winning person’s charity of choice.

This year’s game had seven competitors; mom, dad, their four sons (Anthony, Brent, Kyle & Michael), and the daughter-in-law (Jessica). All with their own strategies to get their buggy to that perfect $150 number.

After an exciting 20-minute run around Kelowna’s Walmart, the food is tallied and the totals come in. Cheers and groans can be heard at the cashier as the family’s new shopping champion is crowned…the twist…all the food collected, over $1,000, in all seven buggies is paid for by Tony Markus and delivered to the charity.  

“I came up with the idea a couple years ago. We had just started a new business and the business was challenging and we thought we could do what we should do this time of year, which is giving back,” shared Markus.

The competition was extra competitive this year as the second oldest son, Brent, has won two years in a row and his father is chomping at the bit to claim the trophy for himself.

“Brent has won for the last two consecutive years so we are trying to overturn him, he is usually within a dollar or so and he is good at math,” laughs Markus while watching his own bill climb dollar by dollar.

Alas those math skills proved too formidable and for the third year in a row Brent Markus reigned supreme and snatched the family trophy (pictured to the right) with an impressively close total of $148.76.

All seven buggies of food were then carefully packed away and delivered to Brent’s charity of choice, the Kelowna Salvation Army.

“It is our way of giving back for all the successes we have had,” smiles Markus. 

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