Local woman wins $5,000 of fuel in national contest

Heider says prize will take her to visit family

LEWISTOWN — Like many other people from this area, Sandy Heider has businesses she likes to frequent.

Her regular stops at one local gas station have paid off big time.

Heider, from Lewistown, was selected as one of 14 national grand prize winners in the Sunoco “Free Fuel 5000” and has received $5,000 worth of Sunoco fuel. She was presented with the prize at a ceremony Thursday morning, at the Sunoco station on the corner of Main and East Charles streets in Lewistown.

“They called me,” Heider said of how she found out she had won. “I said ‘Really?’ I was excited, really excited.”

Heider said she will put the free fuel to good use, traveling regularly to Washington D.C. to see her great-niece, who is due to be born before the end of the year.

Lewistown store manager Susan Carolus said during the ceremony that she was excited someone local had won, but even more that it was one of her regular customers. Carolus said Heider has been coming to her store for years and has made friends in the process.

Carolus also said Heider really didn’t have to do much work to win.

“She just had to put a sticker on her car,” Carolus said.

To participate in the contest, customers must have a Sunoco decal somewhere on their vehicle. Spotters will look for vehicles displaying the decal filling up at a Sunoco station and present a spotted customer with a $10 gift card. That customer is then entered into the grand prize drawing for $5,000 worth of fuel, which is awarded annually to 14 winners.

Heider was presented with the gift cards totalling $5,000 of fuel by Helen Caravello, the regional director for Sunoco Marketing and later posed for photos with the staff at the Lewistown station and members of her family, who were on hand for the occasion.

“We love the Free Fuel 5000 contest because of customers like Sandy,” Mark Burford, the marketing director for Sunoco said in a press release. “It’s great to hear that someone has been going to the same Sunoco station for decades; it just proves how loyal Sandy is to the company and we get to recognize her for that with this prize.”