Wedding Gift Perfection: Bride Wins Wrangler While Planning Big Day

By - JL Jeep Wrangler Wedding Gift

Pennsylvania woman got the wedding gift of the year after buying a raffle in a pet store.

Weddings can be hard. The planning, the seating arrangements, and all of the phone calls and appointments can be a real nightmare to handle. Wedding registries, on the other hand, seem pretty simple. Couples can create one full of all of the items they want online, share it with their guests before the big day, and those guests can buy things off of the registry and mark them as bought so nobody else brings the same gift. We’re sure Debbie Brutz didn’t put a JL Jeep Wrangler on her wedding registry, but, then again, she didn’t have to in order to get one.

All Brutz really had to do was walk into a pet store in Pennsylvania. According to Trib Live, Brutz and a friend were “shopping at the Pet Market in Youngwood last week when a volunteer for the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department came by selling raffle tickets for the department’s annual fundraiser.” There were only a few tickets left and Brutz’s friend bought a pair of them, one for herself and one for Brutz. It was a lucky purchase, but not for Brutz’s generous pal. JL Jeep Wrangler Wedding Gift

The next day, Brutz received a call from someone at the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department. They gave her the good news: She had the winning raffle ticket that entitled her to a shiny silver JL Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (from the looks of the photo above, it appears to be a Sport S model with the Sunrider soft top). She couldn’t believe her good fortune – literally. She thought she was being pranked by a coworker and told the caller, “No I didn’t, no I didn’t, you’re lying.”

It turned out to be the real deal. And a case of great timing. Brutz’s fiance’s truck is only a year or so away from the scrap yard and the couple is scheduled to get married on September 1, so this is wedding gift straight from the heavens. They plan on taking their new Jeep to the ceremony. We have a feeling they won’t be expecting a blender – or anything else – from Brutz’s friend who bought the raffle tickets.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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