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Hungry for adventure? Springfield couple wins $20,000 dinner

Bailey with winning ticket.

SPRINGFIELD – John Bailey had no idea what kind of birthday celebration he was about to experience last July. Actually, the real festivities are yet to come. Because Bailey is holding onto a raffle prize that few others can hold a candle to: Dinner Anywhere in the World.

It’s a prize that’s worth up to $20,000 and includes a $5,000 Visa card, for incidentals and such.

“I had a medical consult at OHSU in Portland,” said Bailey, a retired healthcare worker. “I saw an ad for the July 15 drawing – and that’s my birthday so I thought it was a good omen.”

Greg Christy, vice president of the Kiwanis Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program that sponsored the raffle, said it was a simple twist of fate that he sold the winning ticket to Bailey.

“This is the first time we’ve done this award,” Christy said. “We also do a drawing for a new Mustang every year. 

“What was interesting was, I personally sold (Bailey) the winning ticket. He heard me on the radio and bought the ticket.” 

Christy said the plan was to sell 1,000 tickets at $100 apiece, which would mean $80,000 would be raised for the Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program. After extending the drawing an extra day, they had to settle on “between 400 and 450 entries,” Christy said. “It wasn’t what we hoped, but we still raised money for the children’s hospital.” 

“When I got ahold of Greg on the 15th, he said they had postponed the drawing,” Bailey said. “Then I got a call back the next day saying I had won!” 

Bailey had six months to claim his prize, which he did recently with his wife, Valerie. Now they have a year to go on their trip – and Bailey, an X-ray technician before retiring four years ago – said they might use almost all of that time, given the worries surrounding the pandemic. 

So where might they go? They don’t know yet, but … 

“Canada would be nice when they lift the restrictions,” Bailey said. “We love Hawaii! We’d be happy to go there again. Not really thrilled about Europe – going overseas doesn’t really appeal to us.

“So probably Canada, Hawaii or perhaps New England, that’s an area we wouldn’t mind exploring.”