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Archive for Sunday, May 23, 2004

Mansion offered as raffle’s top prize

Chances cost $1,000; odds of winning any prize are 1 in 285

May 23, 2004

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— A $1.3 million home overlooking a golf course, with a new Bentley parked inside the three-car garage, could be yours for only $1,000.

If you don't win the top prize, you still could go home with consolation gifts ranging from a Maserati Spyder to a diamond necklace.

To make it even more enticing, the proceeds from the raffle will help fund research for spinal cord injuries. And your odds of winning one of the prizes: 1 in 285.

The raffle, called Grand Giveaway, KC, is the brainchild of Gateway to a Cure, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization. It's the ninth house the group has raffled for research.

"This is our biggest raffle yet, and after seeing the house, how could anyone not want it?" said Lou Sengheiser, the group's president. Sengheiser formed Gateway to a Cure after his son, Jason, was paralyzed when he broke his neck.

The 6,500-square-foot estate includes four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and walk-in closet -- two each in the master room, which also has a sink, refrigerator, cabinets and deck.

The downstairs includes a second kitchen, a bar, a wine cellar and a mirrored room perfect for dance or exercise space.

A control room in the lower level, with ceiling-to-floor electronic equipment, powers the projection screen and the surround sound in every room. And the mansion is a "smart home," which can be programmed to announce when it's time to wake up and when the phone is ringing.

Since it was incorporated in 1996, Gateway to a Cure has raised about $300,000. The Kansas City raffle is expected to raise $250,000 to $300,000 after expenses.

Funding will go to Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri-Columbia and possibly the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan..

About 700 of the 2,000 raffle tickets have been sold. The raffle will be scheduled when 1,800 tickets are sold.

"It's unique, so it creates awareness about spinal cord injuries, and it's a win-win, because people can feel good about writing the check for charity," said Mary Bolling, vice president of Mark Bolling Homes, which offered the house at cost for the raffle. "Not many people can afford a house like this, so that's what makes it so exciting."

The six consolation prizes are a Maserati Spyder valued at $98,500; a Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle valued at $24,000; a Baldwin Ellington baby grand piano valued at $18,000; a Howard Miller millennium edition grandfather clock valued at $17,000; a 10-day Caribbean cruise for two valued at $7,000; and a diamond necklace valued at $5,000.

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