Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A 20 dollar investment turns into a wind fall....but that is only half the story

GATLINBURG - A man visiting Sevier County for a conference won the $10,000 grand prize in the Great Gatlinburg Shark Race by a rubber nose - or tail.

More than 4,700 rubber sharks bounced and bobbled their way downstream to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, where one of Virgil Kapp's two sharks edged the second place competition in a photo finish.

Kapp was in town for a day trading conference hosted by Dennis Bolze, who will be hosting another event for United Way this week with an Oktoberfest celebration this Thursday. He bought his sharks Saturday from volunteers who came by the Pancake Pantry.

"It's been quite a week," he said. With the water still low from this year's drought, officials decided to put the sharks in the water closer to the finish line.
"I think it makes it more exciting if everyone sees the sharks going in the water," said Jon Elder, events coordinator for the city.

The sharks made a colorful wave as they bunched up together starting out, but a few pulled away from the pack as they made it into faster water.
A crowd gathered to see if their shark won started to cheer as two came to the finish line close enough to make it an exciting finish.

With the sharks selling for $10 a piece, along with donation jars set up in different places, United Way officials were still tallying the proceeds Saturday afternoon. "We're still doing the totals, but we feel like we raised a lot of money today," Chairman Steve Layman said.

Virgil told us after we received the check that he and his wife have decided to give the money back to the United Way.....which speaks volumes about what kind of a person he is......what have you done lately and you wonder why you don't receive any blessing......hummmmmm. Virgil, I personally don't know what to say, I only hope that God continues to bless you and all of your family each and every day.

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