Local woman benefits from United Way fundraiser

August 22, 2018

Nancy Milosich said she believes that she isn’t a very lucky person, and 2018 was reaffirming that mindset more than ever.

It had been a pretty lousy year for Milosich, but on Saturday afternoon the tides started turning in Frankfort Square as she was announced the winner of this year’s $10,000 prize through the annual Columbus Area United Way Lazy River Duck Run.

Milosich, who purchased six ducks at Great Western Bank, was one of the hundreds of people who combined to invest in 17,500 ducks that floated in the lazy river at Pawnee Plunge Friday evening. From that grouping, 13 Lucky Duck winners each collected $100 and nine more individuals won grand prizes Saturday leading up to the announcement of the Columbus woman’s victory.

All said, the Columbus Area United Way collected approximately $63,000 that is going toward fulfilling its mission of bolstering education, income and health in the greater Columbus area.

“As it kept going down, I kept getting more and more nervous,” she said of the grand prize winner countdown. “And then when it was the last two, I really started shaking.”

Visibly emotional when her name was announced as the overall winner, Milosich said she thinks she will spend the money on a vehicle upgrade. It’s something she has needed for some time and the new stream of cash enables her to finally pull the trigger on a new ride.

Other winners announced Saturday included: Kevin Johnson, winner of a dream vacation voucher; Michelle Edzards, winner of a diamond necklace; Michelle Moore, Kenmore refrigerator; Doris Sliva, groceries for a year through Hy-Vee; Karen Grabowski, $1,000 technology package Apple gift card; Scott Kohler, $1,000 Off-Campus gift card; Joan Plummer, Samsung Smart TV; Krista Beiermann, $750 furniture Gift Card; Dorothy Bybee, Play station 4.

Numerous Local businesses provided this year’s grand prizes.

Lucky Duck winners included: Brooke and Kendie Fiala, Lynn Biltoft, Jerry Chlopek, Steven Jenny, Cheryl Brandenburgh, Erin Brandl, John Bloomquist, Chris Elm, Don Dreesen, Craig Ehrenberg, Connie Hellbusch, Susan Bridges and Lois Paprocki.

Johnson, winner of the dream vacation voucher valued at $6,000, said that in all likelihood he will use the funds toward taking his wife and 6-year-old daughter, Grace, to Disney World.

“We’ve actually been already planning it and we just haven’t finalized everything on it,” Johnson said.

“So now I don’t think her or the wife will let us back out of it now,” he said with a smile, adding they will likely schedule the vacation for June 2019.

Pat Heimes, executive director of the Columbus Area United Way, said the beauty of the fundraiser is it provides the nonprofit organization with vital funds while also benefiting somebody in the community. That feeling of satisfaction really is priceless.

“It’s just a great feeling to be able to hand this prize over to someone who really can use it, as well as enjoy it,” Heimes said. “

This year’s community participation exceeded expectations with around 500 more tickets being sold this year than in 2017.

“After a few minor expenses we will have around $63,000 that goes to the (annual) campaign,” she said, adding that Milosich will take home $7,000 after taxes are removed from her winnings.

After accepting her check and some of the excitement died down, Milosich said she and some of her family members were supposed to make a trip out of town. But first, she had to let her nerves settle.

“We planned on going to Omaha when my oldest granddaughter gets off of work because we have a few things to get done down there,” she said. “But I don’t know, I’m still pretty shaky I don’t know if I want to drive,” she added with a laugh.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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