Emily Denholm, the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana marketing communications coordinator, was at horse racing track Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., for the 2013 Make-A-Wish Day on Thursday. The big surprise started when an unidentified man dropped a $100 bill into a donation box at the Make-A-Wish booth. But it gets better. He returned with a winning “Pick 4” ticket – he’d picked the winners in four consecutive races – and handed the ticket to Make-A-Wish staff members.
Here are Emily’s own words:
He then came back up a second time and said that he wanted to give us his big winning ticket and didn't want any recognition. Our wish staff followed him to the ticket counter (thinking it was maybe 1k or 2k); he handed the ticket to the ticket clerk and said he wanted to donate it to Make-A-Wish. He walked away before the ticket clerk had a chance to tell our staff that the ticket was worth $26,000!
We don't know his connection to Make-A-Wish or if he has any connection at all to the organization. The only information our team was able to get from him is that he is from Atlanta. We are so stunned by his kindness!
A story on the Lexington Herald-Leader tells us even more about Thursday’s event. Among the highlights: The man said “I don’t want anything for this” before disappearing into the crowd.
We can only guess what motivated the man to donate a prize worth so much. Maybe it was the wish kids visiting the race action that day. If you ever meet a wish kid, you’ll notice a certain spark in them that makes you want to help.
Maybe he could just tell how their wishes made an impact in their lives – and saw a way he could help other kids like them find the renewal of a wish experience.
He’s exactly the type of donor we would want to thank in person. It’s always great to acknowledge generosity person-to-person, but we also admire his modesty and know he gave from the heart.
And the bottom line: There are now a few more kids in Kentucky who will have the promise of a Make-A-Wish experience to strengthen and motivate them during the toughest time of their lives.