Nurse wins new car in Champion Chevrolet, Niswonger raffle

Zach Vance • Updated Jan 28, 2019 at 6:08 PM

Every year, Lucia Wolff has bought one of the Ballad Health Foundation’s $50 raffle tickets that benefit Niswonger Children’s Hospital. 

As a nurse at Franklin Woods Hospital and the mother of a child treated in the neonatal intensive care unit at Niswonger, Wolff said she knew the raffle money went toward a good cause, but she never imagined she would win the grand prize. 

While working a shift at the hospital earlier this month, Wolff received a call from Champion Chevrolet co-owner Andy Dietrich, but since she didn’t recognize the number and she was at work, so she didn’t answer.

Eventually, Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine tried texting her and she finally got the message: Her name had been drawn as the grand prize winner. 

“I couldn’t really believe it,” Wolff said. “It was busy at work so every once in a while it would pop in my head, ‘I guess I won a car.’”

Even Monday, after receiving the keys to her brand-new 2019 Chevrolet Traverse SUV, Wolff said the reality of winning had not yet sunk in. 

“I don’t think it’s hit me, yet. I think it will when I drive it off today,” she said. 

For the past 12 years, Champion Chevrolet has donated eight vehicles and $100,000 in cash for the annual raffle giveaway, held each January. 

The cash winners this year were: Charles Verzi, $2,500; Greg Bowers, $1,500; and Barbara Dier, $1,000. 

Through the years, Dietrich said the raffle has raised between $1.1 million and $1.2 million for the children’s hospital. Between 1,700 and 2,000 tickets are sold every year, he said. 

“We’re very fortunate, first off, to have a hospital for children in this region. So when a child gets sick in Kingsport or Bristol or a surrounding area, they have a place to go to that’s not far from home,” Dietrich said.

“My son was born two months early, and spent over two weeks in the Niswonger NICU. I’ve seen where the money goes firsthand, and how blessed we are to have that in our region.

“Then when he was 1.5 years old, he had pneumonia and we spent several nights up there and saw the quality of care from the nurses to the doctors to everyone involved with Niswonger Children’s Hospital and how fortunate we are to have them here.”

Niswonger Children’s Hospital CEO Lisa Carter said the hospital is extremely grateful for the generosity and support of Champion Chevrolet. 

“I cannot thank them enough for all they’ve done over the years to support Niswonger Children’s Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital. Their contributions have made such a positive impact in the lives of the children and families we serve,” Carter said. 

Wolff had the option of selecting a 2019 Chevrolet Impala, 2019 Chevrolet Colorado or the Traverse. 

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