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New dad on paternity leave bags jag in Craftsman contest

New dad on paternity leave bags jag in Craftsman contest


Joel Dabalus didn’t quite know what to make of the phone call telling him he’d just won the $65,000 grand prize Jaguar XF sedan in Craftsman Collision’s Bag a Jag contest.

“I was at Canadian Tire picking up a few things when my cellphone rang,” he said. “I thought it might be a joke. So I went to the shop where I’d had my car repaired (on Cotton Road in North Vancouver), and then to meet (General Manager of Operations) Rick (Hatswell) at Craftsman’s head office. I was finally convinced.”

Mr. Dabalus’s name was drawn from over 10,000 entry forms, and was the second wonderful surprise this year for the 39-year-old community support worker. The first was becoming a new dad on Jan. 3 with the birth of his daughter, Jolene Mariane, who although born three months premature is home today and doing fine.

A native of the Philippines, Mr. Dabalus, 39, worked at a U.S. military base in Iraq for five years before emigrating to Canada, where he became a citizen in July 2012. He goes back to work on August 3. His wife Margrace is on maternity leave until January.

In lieu of the car, and because he had just bought a 2013 Toyota Rav 4, the happy Mr.Dabalus has accepted a cheque for the Jaguar’s cash value. He plans to spend most of the money on his daughter and on paying off the Rav 4 loan.

“I wish to say thanks to Craftsman Collision, and especially to Rick Hatswell and his Dad (Bill) the owner,” he said.