Raffle winner donates prize to foundation

August 1, 2008 5:10:24 PM PDT
What would you do with the money if you won $25,000 in a charity raffle? For one suburban man the answer was simple. Mendel Heating and Cooling is a familiar sponsor of athletic leagues and charities in the western suburbs. The company's president and CEO is always good for a raffle ticket in the Delnor Mens' Foundation fundraiser.

As he'd done in the past, he wrote on the ticket 'donate back.' This year he won.

"When we bought the ticket, or actually wrote the check for it, I shared with Carol who does our checks, that I really felt like we were going to win," said Michael Mendel, raffle winner.

Mendel didn't take the prize of a new Mercedes or $25,000. Friday he personally delivered the $25,000 check to the foundation's beneficiary, Living Well Cancer Resource Center.

The non-profit organization in Geneva offers emotional and informational support to those living with cancer: a library of educational materials, wigs and serenity shawls for those in treatment and classes for family members.

"All of the people get services for free. There's no charge. There's expense but no charge. So that's why we're very dependent upon the Mike Mendels of the world who are angels," said Fred Dornback, Living Well Cancer Resources Center.

Mendel's gift is needed now more than ever. Since the center opened there's been a 20 percent increase in clients each month.

"I hope that it inspires people to do the same, that we can see more of it," said Mendel.

Mendel has no special connection to the living center, the organization that is benefiting from his generous spirit.


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