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Tue, July 16

Veterans raffle adds two great prizes

John Cornelius

John Cornelius

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK - When it comes to raising money to support disabled veterans, John Cornelius never sleeps.

Over the last four years he has raised over $50,000 through a annual raffle that benefits the young soldiers convalescing at Bob Stump Veterans Hospital in Prescott. All of the money raised goes directly to the veterans to make their lives a little easier.

This year, as in previous years, Cornelius has amassed a huge list of prizes including a cruise to Alaska, a Hawaiian trip for two, plus dinners, golf games and lots of merchandise.

"The generosity of all the people who help out each years is astounding," says Cornelius, "But it really shouldn't surprise anyone that Americans will step up when asked to help, especially if the person they are being asked to help is a veteran.

This year, however, he received a prize for the raffle that Cornelius says caught him off guard.

"I try and contact just abut everyone I think will give us a hand, "he says, "One of the people who has generously helped out every year is Tome Watson, the five time winner of the British Open. I was hoping to get an autographed book in hopes of getting some autographed copy of his new book."

To his surprise, Watson responded in a way that surprised even Cornelius.

"He sent us a full set of clubs, including woods and irons, along with a golf bag. I was shocked, "says Cornelius.

About the same time he received a second, generous, golf-related prize.

"My friend Phil Sitka, who had already sent me 16 green fess and lunches at his Fire Rock Country Club in Fountain hills, sent along another four plus lodging for four at the Millennium Resort in Scottsdale," says Cornelius.

As a result, Cornelius has begun selling tickets to both the main raffle, which has 61 prizes to give away so far, and a second raffle for Watson's clubs and the mini golf vacation.

Tickets to help out the veterans are $5 each or three for $25 and are available at Weber's Market or by contacting Cornelius at (928) 284-0603.

The drawing for both prizes will take place on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7

Contact the reporter at sayers@verdevalleynews.com

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