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Tote Drive Exudes True Holiday Meaning

Peters Township real estate agent chooses to redonate after winning grand prize for collecting most totes.

You may recall about Peters Township Coldwell Banker real estate agent Julie Sasko-Bissell and her regional effort to collect tote bags for the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project.

As of last week, she collected 224 tote bags—placing highest in the collection ranks, winning two Penguins tickets.

"It really just took a ton of follow up and persistence—pretty much the same way I sell houses," Sasko-Bissell said. "I had three wonderful organizations that helped: the Coldwell Banker Peters Township office, a friend and coworkers at Crown Castle and ."

She and her husband (a huge Pens fan) opted to immediately redonate the tickets to a child. The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project had the perfect child in mind.

Vicie—a sixth-grader at Shaffer Elementary School in Woodland Hills—who collected 45 tote bags and more than 1,100 items of food, will join F. Dok Harris in the corporate “loge box” for a 2012 Penguins game.

“She launched a school-wide food and tote bag drive, as well as a campaign to redirect excess cafeteria food to a local soup kitchen,” the PTBP wrote on its website. “She’s a young woman with a knack for tackling problems and bringing the rest of us along to make it happen.

“Julie also offered to do a tote drive simply because she thought it was a good idea—she follows us on Twitter and saw the requests for help. She also had no idea there might be prizes. When she won the big prize, she immediately gave back to us again.

“Voila. These are the moments that make this project especially meaningful. The worlds of Vicie and Julie have collided because they both set out to help their community. And now they’ve given a gift to each other as well.”

Eleven individuals were eligible for the Pens ticket raffle. Collectively, they gathered nearly 700 tote bags—many filled with food.

For more information on the PTBP, follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter—and/or visit its website.

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