Fri Feb 2: Private Foundation Gives $426,000 to Local Groups; Willie to Give a Prediction
Plus: Applications are open to businesses that qualify for 'Spruce the Bruce' funding
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Now, here’s a story I’m delighted to publish.
Remember Jason Goreski, the Owen Sound Gas Plus employee who won a massive Lotto 649 draw in 2019?
Well, Trevor and I were tenants in the Gas Plus building at the time. Kelly and Loreen Gowing had lived beside the business in the residential half of the duplex, a Gowing family property for many years, before building a house nearby. We rented the residential unit, while Gas Plus employees came and went from the shop out back and the showroom out front. A steady stream of work trucks headed out each morning, and returned late in the afternoons.
The business of Gas Plus was in transition at the time. Jason, who’d worked there for 20 years as an installer and eventually a supervisor, had worked on buying into the business over the previous six years. In the fall of 2018, he assumed ownership and by mid-winter, was working on plans to expand.
The employees maintained the property. Despite being a supervisor on his way to ownership, it was often Jason we saw out shoveling snow early in the morning before the rest of the team had arrived, always with a friendly wave and a polite hello.
And then on Feb 2, 2019, Jason Goreski won $33.4 million with a lottery ticket purchased across the road.
Nothing changed at all.
Not outwardly, anyway. Every snowy morning through February and March, as Trevor headed out the door to work, he bumped into Jason out shoveling the snow off the sidewalks so his team could safely get in to work.
Eventually, the Gas Plus business moved across town to the former Burger King location. But we always marveled at the unassuming millionaire who got up early to do the work he easily could have shrugged off on anyone else.
Jason told Owen Sound Sun Times reporter Rob Gowan at the time, “I have 12 to 15 people and their families depending on me, so I will continue on with the expansion and with work. However, this windfall will definitely help make my future and that of my family much easier.”
I’ll be honest… a big lottery win would probably put me on the first plane to kick off a multi-year world tour of all the places I’ve ever wanted to go.
Not Jason. It looks like he stayed true to his word, and has even expanded his circle of influence to include deserving local charities and organizations in the health and wellness sector, too. He and his family established a private foundation that has donated over $1.2 million so far to health and wellness initiatives in Grey and Bruce.
Check it out:
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Keep reading for updates on:
Grant funding now open to Bruce County businesses
Multiple charges for an impaired driver in Grey County
What’s happening at Bruce County Council
Which capital budgets are being considered in Meaford
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P.P.S. Get yourself to Wiarton this morning if you want to see the "Wake up Willie" fireworks display and enjoy a delicious free breakfast sandwich.