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Shepherdstown Public Library raffle winner of 20-year-old bourbon announced

By Staff | Dec 28, 2018

Shepherdstown Liquors owner Mohsen Sadeghzadeh watches as Mayor Jim Auxer draws the name of the winner of the 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon on Dec. 20. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — For the second year in a row, Shepherstown Liquors owner Mohsen Sadeghzadeh has donated a bottle of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon from his personal collection, which was raffled off by Shepherdstown Public Library on Dec. 20.

This year, about $3,900 was raised from raffle ticket sales, with a ticket price of $10. According to Sadeghzadeh, donating the bottle, with a retail value of over $2,000, is a way for him to support literacy in his community.

“It’s helping the library. We are part of a very close community in Shepherdstown, where everybody helps each other,” Sadeghzadeh said, mentioning he originally had two bottles of the bourbon in his personal collection, which he donated to last year’s and this year’s raffles.

“I had two only — both of them were donated to the library,” Sadeghzadeh said. “This bourbon is very hard to get, we could not get the last one from the ABC from 2014, because it’s very, very limited.”

According to Sadeghzadeh, the raffle was his original idea.

“I came up with the idea, I told them about it and they accepted it,” Sadeghzadeh said.

On Dec. 20, library representatives, Shepherdstown Liquors employees and raffle ticket holders congregated inside of Shepherdstown Liquors, to watch as Mayor Jim Auxer drew the winning ticket from a plastic bucket, containing all 390 raffle tickets. Auxer drew the name of Hagerstown, Maryland resident Todd Hall.

Hall was, as could be expected, excited when he answered his phone a few minutes later and was told the news.

“I think that’s pretty awesome — I feel pretty happy,” Hall said, mentioning he bought four tickets for the raffle, two for himself, one for his father and one for his brother. After finding out it was one of his two tickets which won, Hall said he would pick up the bottle sometime over the weekend.

According to Director of Library Development Lee Ann Warner, the raffle is viewed as a win-win for both Shepherdstown Liquors and Shepherdstown Public Library.

“It brings people into town,” Warner said, mentioning some of the tickets were bought in-person or over-the-phone by people from as far away as Oregon and Arizona. “It’s good for both of us — people come in here to buy a ticket and buy liquor, and people come in to buy liquor and buy a ticket. The proceeds from this fundraiser are a boost for us for the holidays, and go toward the new Shepherdstown Public Library.

“We can’t say enough about his generosity,” Warner said about Sadeghzadeh. “We are on the moon that for the second year in a row, he has donated this bottle of rare bourbon.”