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Sandy Hook Resident Wins This Year’s Lions Club Mustang Raffle



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Patricia Picerno admitted to being both excited and nervous as she stood next to a beautiful 1966 candy apple red Ford Mustang. Parked outside the home of Newtown Lions Club member Paul Krueger on October 28, the car was about to be handed over to Picerno. Hers was the lucky ticket drawn just 17 days earlier, making Picerno the winner of the 2020 Newtown Lions Club Mustang Raffle.

Longtime Lions Club member Frank Gardner, a neighbor of Picerno’s, sold Picerno her ticket. Gardner said she regularly buys Mustang raffle tickets from him.

“She buys more tickets from me than anyone else,” he said November 2. “This year she even bought a few extras.”

With a white top and red and white “pony” interior, the limited edition power top convertible also features a 200 CID inline 6 engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. Before being handed off to its new owner, the vehicle also underwent extensive detailing.

Despite weather that alternated between gray and overcast and raining on October 28, it was obvious the car was gorgeous.

With pandemic protocols in place, many events where the Lions would have sold tickets were canceled this year. Even the club’s Great Pootatuck Duck Race, where plenty of Mustang raffle tickets usually change hands, was postponed and then canceled.

In a September 2 letter to The Newtown Bee, Lions Club President Oscar De Los Santos pointed out that the usual “carnivals, fairs, flea markets, and parades have been scrapped — and understandably so. Even our iconic Newtown Labor Day Parade has been canceled until safer times.”

“Try as we might,” De Los Santos later pointed out, “we have sold only about one-fifth the tickets we usually have up to this point in our selling season.

“If there was ever a year to take a chance on winning our Mustang, this is it,” he added.

Picerno is only the third Newtown resident to win the raffle in its 30-plus year run.

Newtown Lion Gary Fillion said that Newtown residents won “a few years ago, maybe five or six years ago, and then before that it was during the first four or five years of this fundraiser.”

Whether Picerno’s win has to do with so many tickets being sold closer to home this year due to COVID 19 protocols or luck finally nodding toward Picerno, it does not matter.

The Sandy Hook resident can look forward to warm sunny days and long drives with the top down on her Mustang.

Under drizzly skies last Wednesday afternoon, she carefully maneuvered her new vehicle along the long driveway of Krueger’s home. Smiling and waving back to the group of Lions still standing in the driveway, she eased off the brakes and headed out for the first drive in her Mustang.

Giving a wave while driving her Mustang for the first time, Patricia Picerno heads out from the Krueger residence on October 28. —Bee Photos, Hicks
Patricia Picerno waves from the 1966 Ford Mustang she won on October 11 when her ticket was drawn for this year’s Newtown Lions Club Mustang raffle. Joining her for the official handoff ceremony on October 28 were, from left, Lions Bill and Mary Jo Brett, Walt Schweikert, Gary Fillion, Gary Frey, Paul Krueger, Kevin Corey, and Frank Gardner.
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