FARGO — Marge Gourde almost missed her chance at winning a new Ford Mustang during The Forum’s most recent giveaway when she trashed an email telling her she was the lucky winner.

“The Forum sent an email and I just deleted it,” Marge said. “I thought I had paid up with The Forum and it was just junk mail.”

Her husband, Paul, was the one who told her she had been selected as the winner of the The Forum's Mustang Membership Giveaway, meaning she received a 2018 Ford Mustang Roush Edition, one of only about 200 made. She got her prize during a special event Thursday, Jan. 30, that included WDAY radio personality Jay Thomas.

Marge was selected during a random drawing held among all eligible entries received between Sept. 16, 2019, and Jan. 16. All new members and those who activated digital accounts for The Forum's website, InForum.com, were entered automatically to win the new Mustang with a total retail value of $77,000.

After being a Forum subscriber since 1989, Marge was ecstatic about her luck, but she was even more passionate about continuing her membership.

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“I wouldn’t have been subscribing for all these years if I didn’t believe it was important,” Marge said. “I have neighbors who don’t subscribe, and they are just oblivious to the world.”

“We put Marge in a Mustang,” said "Rides" TV show host Jay Thomas, who is also a radio talk show host for WDAY 970 AM, when he handed her the keys. “Wicked fast.”

Marge Gourde of Harwood, N.D., gets the key to a 2018 Ford Roush Mustang from WDAY Radio host Jay Thomas on winning the car from The Forum and Luther Family Ford on Thursday, Jan. 30, in Fargo. 
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Marge Gourde of Harwood, N.D., gets the key to a 2018 Ford Roush Mustang from WDAY Radio host Jay Thomas on winning the car from The Forum and Luther Family Ford on Thursday, Jan. 30, in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

The vehicle is nicknamed “Jackhammer,” and carries a punch of 710 horsepower.

Marge and Paul are from Harwood, N.D., and neither have ever driven a Mustang before. In fact, the couple never bought a new car until this year. Paul said he plans to drive the car home over the weekend, when temperatures are expected to be warmer, and park the car in the garage.

Her grandchildren are already calling more regularly than usual, Marge joked.

The Mustang giveaway was a joint effort by The Forum and Luther Family Ford. It was the first time The Forum gave away a Mustang, according to Amy Fredrickson, director of membership and marketing.

“It was an amazing process, a great partnership with Luther Family Ford and The Forum,” the car dealership's general manager, Joel Bechtold, said. “It was a great co-experience between the dealership and the paper, great reach out of state and in the city.”

“We knew we wanted to give a vehicle away and the idea behind it was Joel’s,” Fredrickson said. “Luther has been a longtime advertiser with us, and he suggested the Mustang because it would create more excitement.”

Online memberships for InForum have increased since being launched last year, she said, adding that the giveaways to members will not end with the Mustang.

“We hope to do it again, and we will continue to give prizes away to readers,” Fredrickson said.

The Jackhammer caught the eye of many passersby while Marge and Paul prepared to take the keys Thursday at Luther Family Ford, 3302 36th St. S. Among many other features, the vehicle has leather-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a built-in universal garage door opener, touchscreen sync connect capabilities, a rear-view camera, intelligent push-button start and a light that shines from the sideview mirrors to reveal the Mustang logo on the ground when the car is parked.

If you’re interested

All current Forum and InForum membership options can be viewed at inforum.com/subscribe.

When a person buys a digital membership, they become a member and receive access to all Forum Communications Co. news sites.

Forum print subscribers receive online access to InForum.com in addition to receiving the newspaper by activating a digital account at inforum.com/activate.