I would guess all of us have daydreamed about what we would do with the money if we won the lottery. Here’s a true, feel-good story about a lottery winner.

Our firm designed the Social Hall and Chapel for the Notre Dame Academy in Carmel Valley. We have supported the school the past few years during their annual fundraiser, a golf tournament and dinner.

In addition to a silent auction, the school sells raffle tickets to raise money each year for some special project. Half of the money collected goes to the school and half goes to one lucky winner.  In the first or second year, the winner gave his half back to the school as well, and that started a tradition of giving back some or all of the money.

Now, each year, before they draw the winning ticket, the organizers tell the story of the previous year’s “give back” to encourage (pressure?) this years winner to follow suit.  The sum has become fairly substantial.

Lo and behold, who should win last year, but my partner David Pfeifer.  I was so proud of him when he stepped forward and offered half of his winnings back to the school. He also stated that he was going to donate the other half to his own kids’ school—the Nazareth School in Mission Valley. Wow!!!

But the story does not end here.

David met with the Nazareth School principal and asked that the money be specifically spent as seed money for new technology upgrades to all of the classrooms.  He then presented his story of the winning ticket and his gift to the other parents at the school and they stepped-up and raised all the rest of the money to complete the technology upgrades.  Over this past summer, with some additional sweat equity by David and other parents, all of the upgrades were installed.

This year’s golf fundraiser at Notre Dame Academy was held recently. I did not know the end of David’s lottery story until the auctioneer told it to the audience just before he drew this year’s winning ticket.

Hooray for David, for his quiet leadership and generosity, and for this tradition continuing to grow.

Look what one act of kindness five years ago has led to today.


Golf Day