It’s been quite a three-month journey with Oak Park’s “Shop the Village” and it’s coming close to an end.

Last night was the Mega-Gift Drawing, with one ticket out of the estimated 83,000 tickets (about $2.1 million worth of shopping) generated by the program worth $4,000 in prizes from each of the more than 100 participating businesses.

Time will tell who holds the valuable ticket, as I noted on the Shop the Village website and as was reported by the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest, a huge ally in our program.

A lesson re-learned last night: it’s never too late to ask for help.

About 10 minutes before the festivities were to begin, I asked an employee of Park National Bank, the event host, if they had a drawing drum so we could use something appropriately classy instead of the motley gray bucket into which I’d crammed the 83,000 tickets.

A few minutes later, after a search of the basement, she hauled up the drawing drum that we used. Of course, as the photo shows, we had a heck of a time squeezing all the tickets through the small, square gate.

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