Hapari Interviews Tahiti Trip Winner Donalee Richmond

Donalee Richmond (center) is pictured with her daughter Kristi (right), her youngest daughter and two of her granddaughters.
Donalee Richmond (center) is pictured with her daughter Kristi (right), her youngest daughter and two of her granddaughters.

Earlier this week, we announced Donalee Richmond as the grand prize winner of our Tahiti Trip Giveaway. We were able to catch up with Donalee this week, and we found out she wants to “gift” her trip to someone else!

The 56-year-old Donalee is a mother of four and a grandmother of six. She lives with her husband outside of Cleveland, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie — which, she says, is currently frozen solid all the way to Canada! In the summers, however, she says she spends a lot of time in her swimwear. So when she entered Hapari’s Tahiti Trip Giveaway, she was hoping — at best — to win some new Hapari swimwear. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would be the grand prize winner of a trip for two to Tahiti!

“I woke up to check my email at about 5:00 a.m., which is when my husband gets up for work,” said Donalee. “You can’t imagine how surprised and excited I was to get an email saying I was the grand prize winner for the trip to Tahiti. I was so excited, and I’m still so excited! I want to say thank you Hapari for the wonderful opportunity, and I also want to say think you for allowing me to give this trip away.”

Why would anyone want to give a trip to paradise away? We wondered that too! But it all made sense when Donalee explained that she wanted to give the Tahiti trip to her daughter Kristi and her daughter’s fiancé. She explained that allowing her to gift the trip to her daughter would make her even happier than if she were to go on the trip.

“My daughter is a beautiful person on the outside, but more importantly on the inside,” said Donalee. “She is a 30-something working mother of two girls, ages 5 and 7, who tries to find time to stay fit, active and healthy. But more than all that, she makes time for the most important thing in life — family.”

“My four children are all grown with families of their own spread out across the country,” explained Donalee. “But Kristi always makes sure that we are all able to be together at some point during the year — usually at great expense to her. Last year she flew us all down to Disney Land for Christmas. The year before that, she rented a big beach house for us all in North Carolina. Every year she goes out of her way to bring us all together.”

“I don’t think she even realizes how happy it makes me to have that time with my children and grandchildren. We are all fortunate she can afford to do those things, but words just cannot express how thankful I am for all she does to bring joy to our family. She deserves this trip, and it is with great pleasure that I give it her and Shelton, her fiancé.”

Kristi and Shelton are tentatively planning to take the trip in May. Donalee says the couple hasn’t yet set a date for their wedding, so the trip won’t be a honeymoon, but she hopes it will be a trip they will remember for the rest of their lives!

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