By JOHN HOWELL Tracy Keresztessy lives with her family in Coventry, but she has an account at Greenwood Credit Union. She has seen the car parked in front of the credit union and the signs promoting the Warwick Rotary Club raffle in years past, but never
Tracy Keresztessy lives with her family in Coventry, but she has an account at Greenwood Credit Union. She has seen the car parked in front of the credit union and the signs promoting the Warwick Rotary Club raffle in years past, but never bought a ticket.
This year she had a good feeling, and following her intuition, Keresztessy paid $100 for a ticket. She got the right one, for on Tuesday, Ed Tarbox of the Tarbox Toyota and Hyundai dealerships dealership pulled her number 70 from a fish bowl in the credit union lobby.
Unfortunately, the Rotary Club was unable to sell the minimum 300 tickets for Keresztessy to win the car – they were about 40 short of the threshold. But that didn’t leave her empty handed. She will receive $10,000.
“This makes it a lot easier,” Keresztessy said of family plans to do some work on their swimming pool and home improvements. Like so many, Keresztessy is working from home because of the coronavirus. A registered nurse and certified case manager, Keresztessy is a trainer and programmer for Optum, a division of United Health Group out of Boston. She was home to get the winner’s call from Marianne Varatta of GCU and a Rotary Club member who managed ticket sales at Greenwood.
Incredulous, Keresztessy shouted her good news to her daughter, a UNH student now studying at home. Just to verify, she had Varatta make the announcement a second time on speaker.
Leading up to the drawing, Rotary Club president Mark Arnold talked of the club’s charitable work and thanked raffle organizers Scott Seaback and Oliver Brady, Ed Tarbox and the Greenwood Credit Union. He then turned it over to Tarbox, who talked briefly of how community comes together in tough times before plunging his hand into the fish bowl extended – following social distancing protocols – by GCU President Frederick Reinhardt.
In a telephone interview Seaback said, “I’m beyond thrilled at the outcome.” He said Rotarians and the community “went about and beyond” to make the raffle a success.
With the club having to postpone its gourmet gala and the uncertainty of its next fundraising event – the May breakfast hosted by Kent Hospital – Seaback said the more than $14,000 raised for charity is critical to the club’s mission of community support and its motto of “service above self.”