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Dreams Come True


Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

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“I’m going to just crawl under this thing when no one is looking and kind of discreetly write my name underneath this table,” Anita Willard whispered in a conspiratorial tone as her eyes darted about the room.


Contests are meant to engender happy thoughts, not sibling rivalries.

But humorously good-natured ribbing can also be the unintended consequence whenever mom and dad have tough decisions to make, especially the very personal ones that revolve around the inevitable (though far off) “who gets what” kind of thinking that is the luggage of any journey through life.

“You’d better add a date as long as you’re at it so there’s no confusion later,” chimed in her mother, Royann Hedell. “You girls will just have to fight it out someday, I guess,” she said of her daughter’s perhaps overly zealous effort to stake a premature claim on a future heirloom.

They and a group of family and friends were in the home Royann shares with her husband, Lynn, oohing and aahing at the unveiling of the grand prize in the “Thanks for the Memories” Dining Table Giveaway contest. Royann’s essay about her grandmother’s table being lost in a fire was the winning entry in the contest sponsored by metroMAGAZINE and Zongkers Custom Furniture in recognition of both businesses celebrating 20th anniversaries in the same year.

“I was so excited to enter the contest,” Royann said in fighting back tears, “but I never thought I might actually have a chance to win.
A metroMAGAZINE Facebook announcement reminded me that I needed to tune into “The Morning Blend” to follow the announcement of the winner and I couldn’t believe it when Andy (metroMAGAZINE publisher Andrea “Andy” Hoig) called out my name! It’s so very generous of you and Zongkers to do this. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

The 11-ft. white oak behemoth crafted by the award-winning artisans of the company known for its residential, commercial and liturgical designs was built to blend the look and feel of both Royann’s grandmother’s table and a sideboard that is equally important to Lynn and his side of the family.

“This has a double meaning for me,” Lynn said, “because it salvaged the sideboard that belonged to my mother. Royann was convinced that it was time to move it into the basement. Then the contest came along and now look at these two pieces together! This gives new life to one heirloom and creates a new tradition for another.”

Zongkers Custom Furniture’s Dan Zongker agreed. “We have rebuilt not only grandma’s heritage here today, but that of two family histories.”

A rather serendipitously outcome of the contest was the discovery that Royann and Dan already knew each other. They had first met years earlier in a leadership initiative where one of the group exercises was to talk about vision, ambitions and dreams.

What did Royann describe as her dream when it was her turn to speak that day?

“Owning a piece of custom furniture from Zongkers!” she beamed.


-end- metroMAGAZINE



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