Cape couple wins home in drawing to benefit Memphis hospital

Monday, June 23, 2003

Richard and Sharon Hogan were so sure they wouldn't win the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway Sunday that they weren't home when the winning ticket was chosen on KFVS-12.

"We were at my wife's uncle's house in Marble Hill when the drawing happened," said Richard Hogan. "We just thought we were making a good donation to something worthwhile."

The Cape Girardeau couple was informed of their win by their son, who called them on their cell phone. "I just said, 'You have to be kidding,'" said Sharon Hogan. "We hadn't seen the house other than the pictures, but it's beautiful. Everything is just fantastic."

The Hogans said they plan to move into the home as soon as possible.The home, valued at $275,000, is the culmination of six months of work by several area contractors and donations by local businesses.

It was part of a prize giveaway created to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

The home wasn't the only prize given away Sunday. Several local businesses donated prizes, from an $8,000 diamond and gold bracelet donated by C.P. McGinty's to gift certificates ranging from $750 to $1,000.

To enter the giveaway, residents bought tickets, which cost $100 each. About 6,300 tickets were sold, raising over $600,000 dollars for the hospital.

A group of children who have received treatment at St. Jude drew the winning tickets out of a barrel.

Saved a lot of lives

One of those was Shane Coleman, 10, of Cobden, Ill. He was diagnosed with cancer of the retina and nasal passages when he was only 3 years old, but thanks to St. Jude's his cancer is gone. He still returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. He said he's grateful for what the community has done to help the hospital.

"I feel happy for all the kids who are going to survive," Shane said. "We're all really thankful. They've saved a lot of kids' lives."

St. Jude has been doing these kind of giveaways nationally for about 13 years, but this is only the second time the hospital has done one in Missouri.

Martha Hamilton of Coldwell Banker, local chairwoman of the Dream Home giveaway, said that there will be another event of this kind in the area, but did not say when.

She pointed to the success of this giveaway as the reason for another.

"It's just an amazing thing for such a small community to be able to pull off a project like this," Hamilton said. "A lot of small businesses made amazing sacrifices to make this possible. We had so many people calling and asking us how they could help."

In all, about 40 businesses donated time, money or supplies to the project. The lot the home was built on was donated by Dutch Meyr.

"It's been a great experience," said Mark McDowell of Dornoch Construction, who was construction coordinator of the home. "We're proud of the whole community. Every weekend the house was packed with people checking it out."

'How could you not?'

McDowell said the success of the project was due to the importance of the cause.

"When I was approached to do the project, it didn't take me long to commit," said McDowell. "After seeing these kids and what they've been through and how strong they are, how could you not?"

Chuck McGinty, whose business donated the diamond bracelet, said that he couldn't resist helping, either. "We just thought the cause was the greatest. The people were so sincere that we just couldn't say no."

The giveaways help fund St. Jude's operations, which cost about $1 million a day, said Nicole Nenninger, event marketing representative for St. Jude. "We currently have about 4,000 children in treatment. In the past 40 years, the cure rate for these cancers has risen from about 4 percent to about 90 percent."

Those interested in learning more about St. Jude can visit its Web site at www.stjude.org or call (800) 822-6344.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611 extension 226

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: