Winner Gives Back and Pays Forward
TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - One of Canada's newest millionaires has been quick to put his good fortune to very good use. Garth Holding won the LOTTO 649 Guaranteed $1 Million in June and couldn't wait to share the wealth – throwing a big bash and extending the invitation to thousands in the southwestern Ontario community of West Grey – picturesque countryside that he and wife Joanne call home.
The shindig was to celebrate the store that sold Holding his winning ticket - Eckhardt's Variety – a community landmark and meeting place for more than 40 years. Blue Grass harmonies and lively banjo pickin' filled the air and drew in big crowds, including the mayor along with federal and provincial members of parliament for the region.
Food, fun and fundraising were the focus with proceeds earmarked for the local food bank. But this lottery winner's charitable side extends well beyond picking up the tab for one party. Holding knows first-hand what it feels like to need your neighbours and depend on others for support, after a catastrophic collision nearly ended his life.
In 2004, the couple was in a high-speed, head-on car crash. Holding's wife suffered minor injuries but he barely survived. He was airlifted to hospital, suffered multiple cardiac arrests and was placed in a drug-induced coma for weeks. Dozens of surgeries mended his broken bones but Holding would spend the next 8 years in a wheelchair before intensive therapy and the kindness of community finally helped him walk on his own again.
When Holding heard that a children's camp needed money to pay for a wheelchair accessible ramp, he stepped up. "I've been in a wheelchair as an adult and can't imagine what it would be like for a child. Contributing to this cause is personal and really touched my heart," he said.
So, what's next for the newly-minted millionaire? Holding says he'll keep on contributing to the community he loves, keep on playing the lottery and buying his tickets from the store that sold him his BIG winner.
OLG is the Ontario government agency that delivers gaming entertainment in a socially responsible manner. OLG conducts and manages gaming facilities, the sale of province-wide lottery games, PlayOLG Internet gaming, the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres and is leading the integration of horse racing into the provincial gaming strategy. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $42 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. These payments to the province support the operation of hospitals, amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program, local and provincial charities and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research.
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Video with caption: "VIDEO: Lottery Winner throws Celebration Party for the community he calls home.". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20160825_C2670_VIDEO_EN_759382.mp4&posterurl=http%3A%2F%2Fphotos.newswire.ca%2Fimages%2F20160825_C2670_PHOTO_EN_759382.jpg&order=1&jdd=20160825&cnum=C2670
Image with caption: "Local politicians celebrate store owners and lottery winner (left to right) MPP Bill Walker, Phil Eckhardt, Lorna Eckhardt, Joanne Holding, Garth Holding, Art Eckhardt, MP Larry Miller (CNW Group/OLG)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160825_C2670_PHOTO_EN_759248.jpg
Image with caption: "LOTTO 649 Winner Garth, wife Joanne throw party for store that sold the winning ticket (CNW Group/OLG)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160825_C2670_PHOTO_EN_759250.jpg
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