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John Russell from Fallbrook awarded $1 million as Ronald McDonald House grand prize winner

SAN DIEGO - The grand prize winner of $1 million in the 6th Annual Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego's (RMHCSD) Dream House Raffle fundraiser is John Russell from Fallbrook. This year, more than 26,400 tickets were sold raising a record amount of funds for the charity in the six years of the Dream House Raffle. And, this year, for the first time, every ticket is a winner.

The other big ticket winners include Alfredo Montoya of Imperial Beach who won $25,000 in cash or a 2010 Toyota Tundra, Windee Freireich of San Diego won $10,000 cash or a Sony Home Entertainment Package; Stephen Brendel of Carlsbad won $5,000 or an Apple/MAC shopping spree , all in the final Grand Prize drawing; Jeffrey Hancock of Escondido who won $30,000 in cash or a Porsche Boxter; Rene Vasquez, Carlsbad who won $10,000 in cash or a European vacation; and Will Stoffel of Encinitas who won $5,000 or a Hawaiian vacation, all in the Multi-ticket drawing; and finally, Scott Blakly of Spring Valley who won $15,000 or a 2010 Smart car in the Refer a Friend Drawing. In total, 120 cash and prize awards valued at over $1 million were also given out during the 2010 raffle. All of the remaining ticket holders will receive either a $10 free slot play on a Barona Resort and Casino slot machine or a Best Buy gift certificate.

"This year's Dream House Raffle was our most successful fundraiser ever and the funds raised will go toward helping thousands of families with sick children at the new Ronald McDonald House," said Bill Lennartz, president and CEO of RMHCSD. "We raised more money than ever this year and that will help us make life easier for more than 20,000 families this year who will use this wonderful House. We are tremendously grateful to the community for their overwhelming participation."

Now in its 30th year in San Diego, RMHCSD opened the current 65,000 s.f. home away from home for families one year ago with four times the space of the old house. The house has 47 bedrooms and a Family Care Center that is open even to families with hospitalized children not staying at the house. It now serves 20,000 families each year as a much-needed resource for the community as the critical need for services for these families grows. "The fact that we set a fundraising record this year in this recovering economy is a true testament to the value this raffle brings, both to the ticketholder and the families we serve," said Daniel Sinton, development director for RMHCSD. "We are delighted to be able to give every ticket holder a prize due to the generous support of our sponsors Barona Resort and Casino and Best Buy."

The RMHCSD Dream House Raffle rules state that there will be a $1 million payout to the grand prize winner when less than 34,500 raffle tickets are sold. This year, just over 26, 400 tickets were sold, so the house was not an option for grand prize winner. Hundreds of Dream House ticket holders enjoyed an afternoon of refreshments and house tours at the new Ronald McDonald House, as winning tickets were drawn from the vast raffle drum that held all 26,400 tickets sold this year.

Since the raffle began in February, three early drawings have been held awarding a total of $93,000 in cash prizes split among 16 lucky ticket holders. All ticket holders are winners and also had a one in one hundred chance of winning a prize of $150 or more. The next raffle will begin in early 2011. To sign up for the next Dream House Raffle newsletter, visit http://www.sdraffle.com.

The complete list of ticket winners is available at http://raffle.rmhcsd.org/PrizeWinners.aspx. For information on the Dream House Raffle Rules and Regulations visit http://www.sdraffle.com.

About Ronald McDonald House Of San Diego: For 30 years, San Diego's RMHC has provided more than 140,000 nights of lodging for more than 14,000 families whose children face life-threatening illnesses and are receiving treatment at area hospitals. With the opening of the new House located atop a six-story parking garage across from Rady Children's Hospital, the new 47-bedroom Ronald McDonald House quadruples the size of the old 12-bedroom House. It features a new Family Care Center that is open daily to anyone with a child in an area hospital and will serve the needs of 20,000 families each year.

The Center offers dining services, a computer lab, arts and crafts room, children's play room, teen center, play yard, faith room, outdoor play areas, laundry, day resting rooms and shower facilities.

RMHC is a 501(C) (3) non-profit that receives 10 percent of its funding from local McDonald's Restaurant owners and operators. The remaining 90 percent needed to operate the house and serve families must be raised through donations from individuals and fundraisers such as the Dream House Raffle.

 

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