Regifting done right

Barry and Marcy Dobil teach us a lesson for the holidays


Have you heard the story that there’s really only one fruitcake in the world and that it never stays in the same place long enough to spoil?

Like that sad baked-good, regifting is usually thought to be fairly tasteless. This season, though, the people at LifePath have been witness to a much better kind of regifting.

Each year, LifePath holds a gala fundraising event, the PICPA/LifePath Thanksgiving Benefit and Awards Luncheon. Hundreds of our generous Lehigh Valley businesses and community members support the event.

This story starts with a gift from Wegmans for a three-minute shopping spree to be auctioned off at the luncheon. The intention was that the auction winner would have three minutes to load up on the most expensive items at Wegmans – lobsters, steaks, imported cheeses, a food-lover’s dream.

That gift from Wegmans was purchased by Barry and Marcy Dobil of Josh Early Candies with a gift to support LifePath’s good work. Right away, the people here at LifePath were worried that maybe there was some misunderstanding – it didn’t seem like the sensible and well-composed Dobils would want to be running through a grocery store in a shopping frenzy.

We should have known better!

When the time came for the three-minute spree, instead of rushing to the pricey aisles, Barry went straight to the canned-goods shelves while Marcy picked out a ham.

The Wegmans and LifePath staff assembled for the event looked at each other with puzzled expressions. None of us knew, however, that the Dobils recently had been inspired by the City Limits United Church of God on Front Street in Allentown. The church gave out 500 turkeys for Thanksgiving.

When the three minutes were up, the Dobils presented themselves at the checkout with three loaded-to-the-brim shopping carts full of soup, peanut butter and coffee.

Noting our confusion, Barry explained that he and Marcy wanted to give away the items through the church. When asked if the church has a food pantry, Barry said, “They do now.”

At this point, many of the Wegmans employees were choking up with tears.

“You just don’t see enough of this anymore,” Wegmans manager Mike Manlove said.

We think, of course, that Mike is wrong about that: You see, he was the original donor of this multiplying gift. 

(written by Paul Coleman, CEO-LifePath)