"Come home to Pal's" contest winner flies home today - WNCN: News, Weather

"Come home to Pal's" contest winner flies home today

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For the first time in more than two years Tara Abbitt's whole family is together under one roof.

It's all thanks to a phone call from a certain "pal."

A few weeks ago Pal Barger, owner of the Pal's fast food chain called Tara Abbitt, a Tennessee native who now lives in Iowa with some unexpected news.

"We ran a contest come home to pals so we had about 2300 entries and you're one of the winners," Barger said when he called Abbitt.

"Oh my goodness are you kidding? Are you serious?" Abbitt said to Barger.

Pal's chose two winners of the "Come Home to Pal's" contest, who have moved away, to fly back home, and cater a dinner for all of their friends and family. Hundreds of people wrote in to try and win their loved ones a trip back to East Tennessee.

"At first I thought it was kind of a joke," Abbitt said.

"Tara that took a long time to soak in there," Barger said on the phone and laughed.  

Abbitt said it's still soaking in.

"Even today I was like is there something…you know I just was like I just couldn't believe that I had won," Abbitt said.

Abbitt's sister-in-law Mary Jane Allen and niece Meaghan Allen wrote the letter to Pal's nominating Abbitt, who they say is Pal's biggest fan.

"When Tara comes we plan were going to go have breakfast, we're going to go have biscuits , and we're going have a strawberry shake, a sweet tea, and you know that's our thing and we talk over life and everyone should have a place where you get together and talk about life and our place is Pal's." Mary Jane Allen said.

"We don't usually get an opportunity like this because we just live in so many places, and especially around the holidays it's hard," Meaghan Allen said.

"I'd really like to have the family around all the time, and if I could we would all live on this street. We're just thrilled to be together and this is just a fun night for us so we're thankful,"Mary Jane Allen said.

After a long time gone Abbitt finally gets to enjoy all of the comforts  of home- family, friends and the familiar taste of her favorite food.

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