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July 17, 2014

Heard around Danvers: This year’s 50/50 raffle winner had help from above

DANVERS — This has not been a lucky year for Erin Gove, but things have been looking up since the fireworks festival.

Gove, a veterinarian technician who lives in Peabody, said she’s been living paycheck to paycheck, but in addition to her financial struggles, her mother, Eileen Gove of Gloucester, died of leukemia on June 11 at age 71. It was a year of constant back and forth to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The week, before the Danvers Family Festival fireworks in Plains Park, Gove bought just one 50/50 raffle tickets at Merchants Liquor Mart on High Street. She was on her way to visit her brother, who lives in Danvers.

“I just happened to stop in and got one ticket, and I kind of just forgot about it until I got the call,” said Gove, who did not go to the fireworks to hear her name announced to the crowd. However, that ticket won her nearly $3,600.

Gove was recently handed her winnings by Matt Duggan, a board member of Danvers Family Festival, and Jerry Hallinan, a member of the organization.

“I needed that so bad,” said Gove, who said the winnings helped her catch up on bills. The raffle is run in support of all things Danvers Family Festival, which splits the earnings with the winner.

Gove, who said she never wins anything, feels that she had some help from above this time.

“I just think it was my mom who won it for me,” she said.

It’s a wrap

Speaking of Family Festival, board chairman David Benson said he hears from residents every year concerned that the fireworks might be canceled, and this year was no exception.

“We hear that rumor every year,” said Gardner Trask, a selectman and a member of the Family Festival board.

Benson said he has nothing to report, because the volunteer board for the nonprofit hasn’t even begun to look back at this year’s events. A meeting for members to unwind was planned for Tuesday. Trask said the meeting where they review how things went this year and what could be tweaked next year takes place in August.

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