Local man’s donation ends with big cash prize

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Donating to United Way of the Wabash Valley isn’t just a way to help an admirable cause — for one lucky local man, it proved to be the way to win $10,000.

Anyone who donated $25 or more to United Way, or donated $25 more than their 2019 donation, was eligible for the drawing for the cash, with additional entries added as incentive for gifts up to $500. Three names were drawn as finalists for the prize, with a chance to select one of three boxes that contained the cash. The finalists — Lori Thompson from Hamilton Center, Jenni Hanley from First Financial Bank and Paul Lapp from UPS — gathered Wednesday at Terre Haute Chevrolet, which sponsored the event and provided the winnings, where they chose their boxes.

Lapp won, saying he was unaware there was a cash prize available when he started making donations but was nonetheless understandably excited. This was the first time he ever signed up for a recurring payroll donation through his workplace. He said, “It’s a way of giving back. In 2013, they helped me out with some family counseling. They didn’t even charge us a thing. When I started this job I thought this me giving some money would be a good way to give it back.”

He added, “My wife just gave birth on Monday night and she is going to be so excited we won.”

According to Danielle Isbell, United Way Resource Development Director, people frequently don’t know that their act of altruism could pay off for them.

“When I get to make those phone calls — ‘We didn’t know about the incentive, tell me more about the incentive.’ A lot of times they don’t even know, so it’s more heartwarming they didn’t know about the incentives,” Isbell said.

In the span of three days, Lapp is celebrating the birth of his third child and a new cash prize. He says he think it’ll go towards a new car to help transport the family.

Congratulations to the Lapp family!

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