Bristol resident wins $25,000 in Mountain States Foundation Spirit Gala raffle


(left to right) Pat Holtsclaw, president of Mountain States Foundation; Tim Copenhaver, president at Champion Chevrolet Cadillac; raffle winners Steve and Laura Keeble; Andy Dietrich, owner/vice-president at Champion Chevrolet Cadillac

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Laura Keeble of Bristol, Va., was the winner of the Mountain States Foundation’s 2012 Spirit Gala raffle. Her prize, provided by Champion Chevrolet Cadillac, was any one of three new cars or $25,000 in cash, and she chose the cash.

Proceeds from the gala benefit pediatric oncology services at Mountain States Health Alliance facilities.

Keeble and her husband, Steve, are both cancer survivors who were treated at Johnson City Medical Center. When they purchased a $50 raffle ticket, it was simply to make a donation to the Foundation, they said, and they had no thoughts about winning. So it was a surprise when they received a Saturday night phone call from the Foundation with the big news.

“I had forgotten about it,” said Laura, whose first reaction was: “Why is somebody calling me at 10 o’clock at night? When they told us that we had won, I was so shocked. I ran in there to tell Steve that we had won the money, and it was pretty amazing.”

The couple had the option of choosing one of three 2012 cars from Champion – a Chevrolet Camaro, a Chevrolet Silverado and a Cadillac SRX – or the cash, and after several days of consideration, they chose the cash.

“You don't know how big a difference this makes!” Laura said.

The gala was held Jan. 28 at The Millennium Centre in Johnson City. The event sold a record 2,524 tickets, netting about $120,000.

“We are so appreciative of everyone who bought a ticket as well as those who helped us sell the tickets. They were all part of this success,” said Pat Holtsclaw, president of the Mountain States Foundation. “And Champion Chevrolet Cadillac has been an amazing corporate partner for us. They’ve been wonderful to work with, and this year they stepped up and added the new feature of the option for the cars or the cash. That really met the needs for these people; it was really such a blessing for them. So we are deeply grateful to Champion.”

Champion Chevrolet Cadillac has sponsored the raffle for five years, raising more than $500,000 for the Foundation, said Tim Copenhaver, Champion president.

“It's great to help kids,” he said. “I’ve got kids, our owner and vice-president, Andy Dietrich, has kids, and whatever we give to the community, we try to make it child-related.

“It was pretty cool when we made the phone call to the Keebles,” Copenhaver added. “It was phenomenal that the winners were cancer survivors themselves.”

For more information, visit the Mountain States Foundation website at

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