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Winning car will help drive FUN this summer

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Winning car will help drive FUN this summer

Accepting the keys to 2013 Ford Fiestas from Pastor Mike Dillman and Manteca Ford owner Phil Waterford, center, are Nick McClain, left, and Crystal Kisselburgh.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED May 31, 2013 1:39 a.m.

It’s one thing for a non-profit to win something that will bolster its regular offerings or a few hundred dollars to help with operating expenses.

But a car? That’s almost unheard of.

Unless you’re Manteca’s FUN Club.

Earlier this week the organization – which stands for Family Unity Night – learned that they were one of two grand prize winners that would be awarded a 2013 Ford Fiesta courtesy of Phil Waterford’s Manteca Ford Mercury. They purchased the $100 raffle ticket to benefit Manteca’s massive Memorial Day celebration at Woodward Park and looked at it more as a donation than a chance to win.

Until they got that phone call.

“We’ll probably use it for some of the activities that we have during the summer months – almost everything that we do benefits the children,” said Nick McClain, who runs the organization with his wife, Quincyetta – a local pastor. “It gives them an outlet and a chance to get educated in different areas. It’s more than just games but it is a chance to stay off of the streets and be around positive role models.”

McClain said that he isn’t sure whether the organization would keep the car – making it responsible for the tax and license fees as well as the federal and state income taxes that come with receiving a gift of that value – or take the cash value that they could plug into their budget and put to work almost immediately.

Knowing that a local non-profit was one of the two winners added a dimension that caught Waterford off-guard. He said that he just hoped from the start that the winners were people that could truly benefit from their use and wasn’t let down when he discovered who would be climbing behind the wheel.

“You’re talking about an organization that benefits the kids in the community – that provides a safe haven for them when they’re away from school,” he said. “There might be a significant cash donation there instead of them taking the car, but it’s something that they’ll be able to use. My son and I went to a board meeting of the organization earlier this year and heard that they weren’t going to have enough money to do everything that they needed to do for the year.

“To hear that they were the ones that one was amazing.”

A snowbird will drive back home

It’s been a rough year for Crystal Kisselburgh.

The Oregon native usually spends her summers in the remote northeastern corner of the tree-laden state but has faced medical obstacle after medical obstacle – a breast cancer diagnoses and subsequent surgery in January; a Parkinson’s disease diagnoses; finding out that she has macular degeneration.

So instead of being up at her lakeside home in April, like she usually is, she was still here in Manteca – one of four places that she goes during the “off-season” to spend time with children.

And because of that she finally caught a break.

At the urging of the owner of Weber’s Barbecue, Kisselburgh bought a $100 raffle ticket to benefit the Memorial Day event and didn’t think anything of it. Until her phone rang. And even then she didn’t quite know what to make of the use.

“It was very much welcome news after everything that I’ve gone through,” she said. “I’m still in shock. You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s a really neat thing. Wow.”

Kisselburgh was the person that Waterford had in mind when he came up with the raffle program, and her story struck a special chord in his heart after he met her for the first time on Thursday afternoon. His own mother is a breast cancer survivor, and his sister-in-law just underwent a double mastectomy after a round of chemotherapy and radiation.

She isn’t sure whether her financial situation will allow her to take the car with her when she finally does head back up to Oregon, but knowing that she won such a drawing – especially one that benefits a gathering that honors the military the way that Pastor Mike Dillman’s does – will always be with her.

“My prayer was that the two people who won would be the two people who could really use it. I had friends that bought 20 and 30 tickets and knew that it increased their chances of winning,” he said. “This lady bought one ticket. Both prayers were answered, and in this case, I have no doubt that she’s the right recipient for the vehicle.”

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