2011-02-17 08:36:11.973

Non-Profit Program Receives Anonymous $20,000 'Thank You'

Story Photo audio icon Greg Roark of Leawood, Kan., is in the business of helping people. As the executive director of Welcome House in Kansas City, a non-profit residential drug and alcohol recovery center for men, he has assisted countless individuals during his career. It’s not uncommon to receive “thank you” notes from former residents, but what the facility received on Feb. 16 left the Welcome House staff “flabbergasted.”

“One day, an envelope showed up at our front desk,” began Roark. “Inside was a note with a ticket that said, ‘Thanks for all of your help in the past…and here’s a winning ticket.’ It was a $20,000 winning ticket.”

Inside of the anonymous “thank you” note, which expressed gratitude for helping the sender turn his life around, was a winning Missouri Lottery “$5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza” Scratchers ticket. The note went on to state that donating the ticket was the least the former resident could do for the facility that changed his life.

“There are some good people in the world,” Roark said. “We obviously helped this guy get his life back together to the point where he wanted to give back to us.”

When asked what the donation means for the non-profit recovery center, Roark said it will help them “buy groceries and help pay the $3,700 natural gas bill” they received in January.

There are a total of 80 men in the program, who live in the 30,000 square-foot property while undergoing treatment.

“The neat thing about our program is that we do not accept any government funds – federal, state or local,” he explained. “So, it’s all through private donations.”

In addition to Roark, three full-time staff members and numerous professional counselors, Welcome House has a full kitchen staff, which makes “more than 50,000 meals a year.”

To the anonymous donor, Roark had this to say:  “Thank you. It’s that much less that we have to raise this winter to help pay our bills.”

Roark added that Welcome House has to “raise about $1,000 a day to survive, so I just got two weeks’ worth of fundraising in one day!”

"$5,000,000 Cash Extravaganza," a $20 ticket with a top prize of $5 million, officially began on Jan. 23. According to Missouri Lottery records, the anonymous donor purchased the winning ticket at Price Chopper, 5800 Wilson Road, in Kansas City.

To learn more about Welcome House, visit Welcomehousekc.org.

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