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Winners split prize
Chamber raffle benefits businesses
4 Raffle pic1
Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan and daughter Sara discuss the option of splitting the $10,000 prize during last weeks Dawson County Chamber of Commerce reverse raffle. Grogan took home $5,000. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Mayor James Grogan may by the luckiest man in all of Dawsonville.

For the second time in four years, Grogan went home after the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce reverse raffle Thursday night thousands of dollars wealthier.

"You know, you just do things the right way and God blesses you. That's all I can say. That is really the truth and I really believe that," he said Aug. 29 at Big Canoe's clubhouse where the raffle was held.

With two tickets left, Grogan's daughter Sara held on tight to theirs while Lynn Townley, who for the first time did not attend the drawing party, received a phone call saying she had purchased what might be the winning ticket.

"I told James I'd split it in a heartbeat, so today I have a check for $5,000," Townley said.

Incidentally, Townley was holding the winning ticket and would have won $10,000 if she hadn't agreed to the split with the mayor. But she's happy to have won as much as she did.

"I'm not a greedy person. I'm just happy to share and that I got this much," she said.

While paying bills is her first priority, Townley said the family has talked about taking a trip with some of the winnings.

"It's just awesome," she said.

The mayor's prize money, on the other hand, is earmarked for his daughter's college education.

"We went this morning and had a [senior meeting] with her counselor and were talking about getting scholarships to get Sara ready for college," he said. "And I'm sitting back there and thinking about what $10,000 would mean to her and to us for her to have that for her education.

"So I told her if we were to win, the money was hers, and it just worked out that way."

Peter Hill, chairman of the chamber's board of directors, said he couldn't be happier with the overall event.

"I think it was definitely a great event, and we certainly want to thank Big Canoe for hosting us and everyone that purchased tickets," he said. "I'd also like to thank our board of directors and our ambassadors for selling the tickets, because proceeds from the tickets certainly make up a big part of our operating budget."

The reverse raffle is the chamber's biggest fundraiser each year with proceeds going toward programs that support local business.