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Winners give prize back to charity

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POSTED: June 24, 2014 2:10 p.m.
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Mark Harrison and wife Barbara stand next to the Big Green Egg, which he donated back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, at the Plantation Lumber and Hardware store. With them is Jessica Neeley (left), the Woman of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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When the Plantation Lumber and Hardware store had an open house in May, raffle tickets were sold to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The raffle prize was an “Ultimate Big Green Egg Grill Package,” which included a large grill with a lifetime warranty, a canopy tent, a $100 gift certificate and more.
Jessica Neeley, woman of the year candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, conducted the raffle as a part of her campaign to raise money for the charity. She came up with the idea of the raffle with the help of Dallas Daniel, owner of the hardware.
“With his suggestion and support, the idea came about to do a raffle for the charity during his open house,” said Neeley, who raised a total of $1,620 during the raffle.
Neeley pulled the winner of the raffle to find the name of Richmond Hill resident and business owner Mark Harrison.
“I just bought the ticket to make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” Harrison said. “The day I bought the ticket, I told my wife, ‘If I win this, I’m going to donate it back to them.’ She said, ‘Oh really?’
Oh really, indeed.
That’s exactly what he did. Harrison, the owner of Harrison’s Tire and Service Center and Hawg’s Liquor Store, donated the prize, valued at $1,350, back to the campaign. He already had a green egg and although many people told him to sell the prize for the money, he wanted the charity to be able to raise even more money with the prize.
“It’s a worthy cause,” said Harrison, who knows many people who have battled cancer.
He said he has had family members who have had bouts of cancer, uncles who have died of cancer and a good friend and employee who has been out of work for a couple years due to cancer.
“I have partial encounters with cancer because of those I know who have had it,” Harrison said. “I thought it was the right thing to do.”
Neeley said she was stunned when he told her he wanted to donate the prize pack back to the charity.
“I know how valuable those grills are,” Neeley said. “They come with a lifetime warranty, so it’s something you keep forever. I was shocked and touched that he would do that.”
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society had planned on purchasing a second prize pack to auction off at an upcoming gala. But with Harrison’s donation, they were able to use the same prize pack to raise more money. During the Grand Finale Gala at the beginning of June, the Big Green Egg along with a custom table from the Plantation Lumber and Hardware were auctioned off to raise a total of $1,750 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Also during the gala, the man and woman of the year were announced.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year campaign is a fundraising competition in communities across the country. Participants raise funds for blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors. The titles are awarded to the men and women in each community who raise the most funds during the 10-week campaign. Each dollar counts as one vote.
Neeley, who is also a Richmond Hill resident, earned the Woman of the Year title by raising a total of $27,435 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
To Harrison, it’s about giving back to a community which has given him so much.
“If it weren’t for the community, I wouldn’t be successful in business,” Harrison said. “The community supports us and we need to support the community. It works both ways.”

 

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