2018 Drive it Home Raffle: And the winner is . . .

On Saturday, Nov. 17, we celebrated with seven area finalists from across the state, who purchased tickets for the Drive it Home Raffle. They were all winners before they arrived! They visited the Training for Life campus, enjoyed a tour, dinner and watched our athletes participate in their very first camp at the TLC! A truly remarkable weekend in so many ways!

And now it is time to meet the winner of the 2018 Ford Explorer: Al Rodriguez! Turns out that the number 5 is lucky for Al. He was the fifth person to select a key at the Drive it Home Raffle Grand Prize Giveaway Event. He was joined by his wife and young children. His 5 year old daughter, Megan helped him pick the winning key. One of the most impactful parts of the event was watching the athletes give high fives to the winning family as they walked to their new vehicle! Congrats to Al and his family!

Raffle winner 2018



Tammy Morgan: Tammy purchased one ticket from Special Olympics Missouri athlete Derek Sandboth when she visited the new Training for Life campus on a tour with members of the Knights of Columbus. She likes to drive and works in Jefferson City. She recognizes all that the Knights do to support our mission and is excited about becoming more involved in Special Olympics Missouri. If Tammy wins the Ford Explorer, she would most like jump up and down with excitement! A trip could be in Tammy’s future. Ticket #: 011944

Kim Swanson: Kim purchased two tickets from her friend and coworker Lisa Breeden. She is very familiar with Special Olympics and our mission because Lisa has a son who participates in SOMO every year. He is involved in several sports and is always so excited to participate. Winning a new Ford Explorer would be a blessing to her family as they have children in college next year. Ticket #: 078013

Colin Welch: Colin purchased four tickets from SOMO staff member, Mary Niswonger. Colin is a member of the Knights of Columbus and has supported Special Olympics athletes for several years. He helped with Area Spring Games in high school and raises money through the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive. When asked what he would do with a new Ford Explorer, he said that he would put his wife in the vehicle! Lucky lady! Ticket #: 013027

Floyd Deidiker: Floyd purchased 4 tickets from Bill Nichols. They were the last four tickets that Bill had left to sell. Bill is a former Grand Knight of the KOC council 9892. Floyd is the current Grand Knight for this council and has been a part of Special Olympics for the past several years. He firmly believes in our programs and in our athletes. He shared that he never wins anything and is excited that he is one of the area finalists! He would probably faint if he won the Ford Explorer. Ticket #: 018782

Terry Brown: Terry purchased 10 tickets online through Facebook or Instagram. He enjoys sports and is familiar with Special Olympics Missouri as a volunteer and donor. They are in the market to replace one of their vehicles, and the Ford Explorer would be a great fit. Ticket #: 012120

Fran Sokolowski: Fran purchased one ticket from a police officer during the Shop ‘n Save t-shirt sale at their Florissant location. She is familiar with Special Olympics, generously supporting our athlete’s through contributions. She only drives short distances and would most likely share the vehicle with her family! Ticket #: 038302

Al Rodriguez: Al purchased two tickets from an O’Fallon police officer during our Dunkin Donuts Cop on Top event in May. He understands the importance of sports and activity in the lives of children and enjoys seeing the smiles on their faces when they compete. When asked what he would do if he won the Ford Explorer, he shared that it will be an upgrade to one of their vehicles. Ticket #: 003246

Thanks to the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association for generously donating a 2018 Ford Explorer for our Drive it Home Raffle this year.

Tristan Holmes wins 2017 Drive it Home Raffle

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Tristan Holmes on the field at the Mizzou football game after the grand-prize giveaway.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who purchased a ticket for Special Olympics Drive it Home Raffle. Your support of this event directly benefits more than 15,300 athletes across the state. It is our pleasure to introduce you to our Area Finalists. The winner of the 2017 Honda Pilot Elite, donated by Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, was selected at the Grand Prize Giveaway Event at the Zimmer Tailgate party before the last Mizzou home game on November 11.

Grand Prize Winner
After three people tried their keys unsuccessfully, this young man step up to take his turn. He only purchased one ticket (#106981) and was thankful to be an area finalist. He never expected to select the winning key and was surprised when the key worked! As we stood on the sidelines before he went on the football field for the announcement, he shared that he was not sure what he was going to do with a brand new vehicle, but he was definitely planning to purchase a lottery ticket on the way home! Congrats to Tristan Holmes, from Piedmont MO (SE Area) who was the winner of the 2017 Honda Pilot Elite!

Eric Vonce: Eric purchased four tickets from Amanda Castetter. He is from Tennessee (a Titan’s fan!) and was attending the game with some friends. He has volunteered for Special Olympics in the past and said that if he won the car, he would donate it back to Special Olympics! He is a true fan of our athletes!

Lt. Charles Boykin: Lt. Boykin purchased 20 tickets from Mr. Harn during a fundraiser at Culver’s that was held by the Military Police Regimental Association. Lt. Boykin has helped train prison guards, dog handlers and is currently with Ft. Leonard Wood and is responsible for police training. While he doesn’t have a connection to Special Olympics he believes in our mission and is thankful for the work that we do to support individuals with disabilities. If Lt. Boykin wins the Pilot, he plans to enjoy driving it.
Ticket #: 000699

Janice Rothganger: Janice purchased four tickets from Special Olympics staff member Melody Prawitz. She is very familiar with Special Olympics and our mission. Her sister was an athlete, her mom was a coach and she has known Melody for a long time. For about 15 years, Janice helped coordinate law enforcement torch run events in the area and participated in them as a member of law enforcement until she retired. She plans to replace her 10 year old car with the Honda Pilot Elite and drive the wheels off of it!
Ticket #: 088459

Tristan Holmes: Tristan purchased one ticket from George Bullock – a teacher at Clearwater High School during a high school basketball game. Tristan has a friend named Trenton who participates in Special Olympics sports and has won several medals in track and field events. Tristan hopes to volunteer at sporting events in the future. When asked what he would do with a new Honda Pilot Elite, he said that he really likes the car, and if we doesn’t win, he would probably purchase something like it one day.
Ticket #: 106981

Kevin McClellan: Kevin purchased 40 tickets from Monty Anderson. Kevin and his wife Debbie have participated in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy benefiting Special Olympics Missouri athletes for seven years. They believe in and enjoy supporting Special Olympics athletes! The Honda Pilot Elite will be a great addition to their collection of vehicles and they would enjoy driving it.
Ticket #: 103719

Mike Mallett: Mike purchased 10 tickets from Special Olympics staff member Laurie Shadoan. He is familiar with Special Olympics because of his connection to Laurie and this is the first time that he purchased tickets for the Drive it Home Raffle. His wife is a retired teacher and his daughter is a teacher. They have always focused their community support on helping children, especially those with disabilities. They are in the market to replace an older vehicle and the Honda Pilot Elite would be a great fit.
Ticket #: 069048

George Foster: George purchased 60 tickets from Mark Bussen, who is our top salesperson for the Drive it Home Raffle across the state! George purchases tickets from Mark every year and has been an area finalist in the past. Mark is a Special Olympics coach and holds holiday parties and annual picnics for his teams. George enjoys connecting with Special Olympics athletes at these events and is a true fan of our mission. He has been looking to purchase a new vehicle and would enjoy the Pilot if he is the winner!
Ticket #: 061948

Joyce Hill: Joyce purchased one ticket from Dana Fulton from St. Louis County Police Department. She works with Dana at St. Louis County Government Headquarters and has been with the County for 21 years. She believes in our mission and purchases tickets for the Drive it Home Raffle every year. When asked what she would do if she won the Honda Pilot Elite, she said: “I would drive it!”
Ticket #: 016804

Drive It Home Raffle made possible thanks to:

2014 MADA Logo with name spelled out-black-outlinesLETR_Mark_Missouri_ColorShopSave_Color


Thanks to our 2017 Raffle partners!

Rolling Hills Auto
Greater KC Public Safety Credit Union
Mema’s Bakery
Chop Tops Hair Company
Simon Oswald
SM Wilson
Shop ‘n Save
Knights of Columbus
East Hills Shopping Center
LO Profile
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Mix 92.7/Cool 102.7 (Benne Media)
Columbia Missourian
Columbia Access TV
Hyatt Regency Downtown at the Arch
Downtown Association (North Area)
Jackson KC Picnic
Don Wessel Honda of Springfield
Equine Assisted Therapy
RPM Car Care
St. Louis Special School District – Pattonville High School
Comprehensive Chiropractic & Sports Performance
Capital Plaza Hotel
Elks of Joplin
West County Honda
Ride -N- Drive Motorsports LLC
Golden Corral in North Area
Bliss Associates LLC

John Owen Wins Drive It Home Raffle

Congratulations to our 2016 Drive it Home Raffle winner, John Owen of the St. Louis Metro Area! John purchased one ticket from staff member Jennifer Krumm at a walk in Old St. Charles. John has a disability and understand the impact that living with challenges holds. He and his wife, Karen are professional clowns. They have been to Special Olympics area games in the past and create balloon animals and do face painting. They have also been foster parents. John purchased the ticket because he dreams of having a new truck. They currently drive a 2003 Toyota Tundra. Winning Ticket Number: 043560

John was selected at the Tiger Tailgate, sponsored by Zimmer Communications Group, prior to the Mizzou vs. Arkansas football game on Friday, Nov. 25. Each of the eight finalists selected a car key in a random order, only one of which would be the correct key to open the door. John was the final person to select a key, so after watching the seven finalists’ keys fail to open the door, he knew that he would select the winning key. John was extremely excited to win the truck, and says he has never owned a new car before and plans on driving this truck until it can’t drive anymore!

Each finalist received $500. They are:

Southwest Area: Janet L. Johnson: Janet purchased 5 tickets from Phil Cook. She enjoys attending Area Spring Games, watching our athletes compete and the joy that they share with everyone. She especially enjoys when one of our athletes sings the National Anthem. She works with some of our athletes when they participate in adaptive P.E. classes and her husband officiates at some of our basketball competitions. She is thankful for the many opportunities she and her family have to connect to our athletes. She shared that one of their vehicles needs repairs that exceeds the value of the vehicle, so they are starting to search for a new one. If she one the truck, it would certainly help. Winning Ticket Number: 005895

KC Metro Area: Molly Bachand: Molly lives in North Carolina and purchased 4 tickets from her sister Sarah Bachand. She is the Equipment Director at Wake Forest for men’s and women’s basketball. She loves hearing about how inspiring the Special Olympics athletes are from her sister. She hopes to be able to volunteer at an event when she is back home for a visit! She is excited to be one of our finalists and shared that she plans to drive doughnuts in a field to celebrate if she wins the truck! Winning Ticket Number: 078550

Southeast Area: Paul Brewer: Paul purchased one ticket during the SEMO District Fair. Paul’s mom worked in the Special Education field at Texas State School as a nurse. He spent time with the students during the summer. He shared that he seems to know more and more people with intellectual disabilities and is happy to support our athletes. Paul shared that he had to sell his F-150 truck about a year ago and he misses it. He and his four boys will definitely enjoy the new truck if he wins. Winning Ticket Number: 115257

North Area: Maria Schoepke: Maria purchased her tickets from the parent of a Special Olympic athlete. Leah Shoemaker is the athlete. Maria works for the Health department and lives in St. Joe. She enjoys the area and is thankful for the opportunities we provide to athletes like Leah, who participates in several sports. Maria and her husband currently have a mini-van. She would really like a truck because they are useful for transporting things. If she is a winner, she is going to keep the truck and let her husband drive the mini-van. Winning Ticket Number: 083978

STL Metro Area: Kathleen Carapella: Kathleen purchased one ticket from Mary Wheeler at the Wentzville Flea Market. Her husband’s aunt has an intellectual disability and she used to participate in Special Olympics. When Kathleen was in high school she volunteered as a basketball coach and participated in basketball at the State Games in Fort Leonard Wood. Kathleen shared that the current truck they have is 13 years old and it would be great to have a new one! Winning Ticket Number: 053033

Central Area: Jason Crane: Jason purchased 2 tickets from a member of the Knights of Columbus, Wendell Quick. Jason works with Wendell at Continental Casting. He is a veteran who enjoys doing for others and giving to charity. While he doesn’t have a connection to Special Olympics he believes in our mission and is thankful for the work that we do to support individuals with disabilities. Jason is confident that most of our athletes can run faster than he can. Jason has never owned a new vehicle before and is not sure what he will do with a new truck, if he is the winner. Winning Ticket Number: 049706

The Drive It Home Raffle is a signature event of Special Olympics Missouri. We are honored to work with our statewide partners to make this event a success: Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, Shop ‘n Save and Law Enforcement Torch Run. Everyone can sell raffle tickets: law enforcement, athletes, coaches, family members, constituents, board members, auto dealers, etc., with several sales incentives available. Special thanks to Missouri Automobile Dealers Association for donating the F-150 truck that is the Grand Prize for this year’s raffle. Proceeds benefit SOMO’s 15,000 athletes who participate in sports year-round across the state.