BIG BUCKS: Three local women split top prize of nearly $12,000

Valerie Mills, Dionne Burr and Dawn Lenci

The Big Bucks Give-A-Way, a major fundraiser drawing for the Old Forge Fire Department, was held Sunday, September 18, at the close of Annual Firefighter’s Drill School.

Prize money is based on the number of tickets sold and this year there were 62 cash prizes awarded.

The Grand Prize of $11,882 was shared by three local women with their winning ticket #1869.

The lucky ladies were Valerie Risley and Dawn Lenci of Old Forge and Dionne Burr of Forestport.

Risley and Burr both work at the Adirondack League Club, where Lenci had also worked for 20 years, before leaving in July for a Financial Manager’s position at View.

The three women have shared two Big-Bucks tickets for the past eleven years.

Risley said that 15 years ago, she and Dawn Lenci also won the car on Labor Day Weekend at the Lakefront by sharing a ticket with Beverly Perkins and Ann Croneiser, and they also won $1,000 that night.

But this is the first time they won the Big Bucks.

Lenci, a member of the Old Forge Fire Department’s Auxiliary and Chairman of the Big-Bucks Give-a-Way for the last ten years, and Risley, also a member of the Old Forge Fire Department’s Auxiliary, were both working on recording the winners’ names when their ticket was drawn.

When their winning number was called, Lenci said she screamed, “That’s us! That’s us!”

Burr, who was not present for the drawing on Sunday, said that Dawn and Valerie were screaming over the telephone when they called her about winning the Grand Prize.

What are they going to do with the money?

Risley, who is having surgery in October, said the money will help because she will be out on disability for six weeks.

“Our class of 1980 has talked about a trip to Alaska, so I think I might put my money towards the 2013 trip,” Lenci said.

Burr said that she and her husband are going to buy a new bedroom set—a purchase they have put off for a long time.

“Dionne also bought lunch yesterday,” Mills laughed.

Other Big Bucks Winners Are:

2nd Prize was won by Kathy Noble of Lake George in the amount of $6,398.

3rd Prize was won by Paul Ryan of Eagle Bay in the amount of $5,484.

4th Prize was won by Dick Conversano and Xenia Walsh of Old Forge in the amount of $4,570.

5th Prize winners each winning $3,656 were Jerry Snyder, Baldwinsville; Tom Dwyer, Princeton, NJ; Bonnie Baker and Craig Frateschi, Old Forge; Bob Newton, Syracuse.

6th Prize winners each winning $1,828 were James White, Pound Ridge, NY; Casey & Patrick Venetz, Old Forge; Angelo Nole, Utica; Regina Brown, Turin.

7th Prize winners each winning $914 were Ed & Steve Drogulski, Clinton; Sandra Aden, Lyons Falls; Charles Pennica, Rochester; Dick Conversano and Xenia Walsh, Old Forge.

8th Prize winners each winning $457 were Robert Muller, Eagle Bay; Jim Farrell, Ossining; Kevin Krogh, Ballston Spa; Bruce Elderkin, Washington Mills; Barb Winslow, Old Forge; Tom Ward, Rochester.

9th Prize winners each winning $182.80 were Gene Russell, Old Forge; John Deraddo, Ithaca; Sharon Burdick, Lyons Falls; Joan Marks, Thendara; Frank Santoro, Schenectady; Larry and Bonnie Lawrence, Eagle Bay; Mark Sheline, W. Lebanon; Teeput LaPorte, Inlet; Martin Smith and Dale Goggin, Mohawk; Marcia Reese, Portageville; Jane and John Cameron, Old Forge; Bruce and Kay Engelbert, Rome; Dorothy Haggblom, Old Forge; Chuck Wilsey, Old Forge; John Daley, Central Square; Richard Widomski, Old Forge; Grace Bailey, Old Forge; Ross Annable, Middleport; Debra Blanchard, Oneonta; Allen and Betty Hough, Forestport; Joel Falanga, Oswego; James Ryan Sr, Forestport; Ted and Sylvia Toense, Hamburg; Donna Connell, Lake Harmony, Pa; Beverly Hubbard, Warners; Nancy Youngberg, Forestport; William Maher, Wappingers Falls; Paul Mirate, Raquette Lake; Jane Smithson, Ilion; Frank Clavelli, Oswego; Neil Wilkinson, Utica; Ryan and James Franklin, Newark Valley, NY; Mary Jane Jones, Utica; LeRoy Baker, N. Syracuse; Jeanette Burns, Cold Brook; Barry Berger, Albrightsville, Pa; James Owen, Stittville; Tom Thibado, Eagle Bay; Nicki and John Bauer, Old Forge; Mike Flanagan, Old Forge.

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