Garrison shows he is a jackpot of a friend
When Quincy Moose Lodge member Richard Garrison won a nearly $10,000 jackpot in a raffle drawing last week, the money didn’t stay in his pockets for long.
No, Garrison didn’t spend the surprise windfall on himself or his wife Patricia. He didn’t even buy a round of drinks for his fellow Moose members who gathered for some Friday evening fun, as is customary at the lodge.
Instead, Richard announced to the understanding crowd that he was sending it all – all $9,425 – to his brother-in-law, who has been battling cancer for three years. Darrell and Barb Rector live across the country in Elkin, N.C.
“I just knew already in my mind that Barb and Darrell were supposed to get the money,” Richard said earlier this week from his office at Washington Tractor.
While the generous move surprised Barbara, Richard’s actions were not out of character.
“He just gives and gives and gives,” said Barbara, who grew up in George and has been away from the area for some 30 years. Barbara and Patricia are sisters.
The Queen of Hearts 50/50 game is a weekly tradition of Quincy Moose Lodge No. 1925. Members gather every Friday at the lodge in downtown Quincy for dinner and socializing. For $1, members can buy a raffle ticket. The owner of the ticket drawn that evening gets to choose one card from a deck.
If you draw the Queen of Hearts, you win the pot of money, which is then split between the lodge and the winner. (The lodge’s share of the winnings goes toward maintenance and operations.) If the winning card isn’t drawn, the pot carries over to the next week.
In years past, the pots have gotten quite large at times, including one that reached about $30,000, Richard said. On that evening last week, 3,000 raffle tickets were sold, and the total pot had climbed to $18,850, Richard said.
Born and raised in Quincy, Richard married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Goutermont. A Moose member since 2007, Richard is serving his second one-year term as governor of the local lodge. His father also served as governor, and his photo hangs in the lodge today.
Richard hadn’t been heading down to the lodge on Friday nights lately because he didn’t think it would be appropriate for the lodge’s leader to take home the jackpot, he said. So last Friday, he and Patricia decided before they left for the lodge that if they should win, they would give the money to Darrell, he said.
As luck would have it, Richard’s raffle ticket was drawn. He then asked his friend Jim Hoersch to choose the card. Hoersch put his finger on the Queen of Hearts.
Earlier that evening, some 2,600 miles to the east, Barbara and Darrell went to bed that night, praying for guidance, Barbara said. Darrell has been battling cancer for three years. In that time, he has had three rounds of chemotherapy and three operations, she said. A veterinarian, Darrell was forced to retire from his job early, his wife of 30 years said. So things have been a little tough for the family.
“The very next morning was when Richard called,” Barbara said.
The George native said she was a young, awkward teenage girl when Richard started dating her sister. Raised in a home full of sisters, Barbara recalled praying for a big brother.
“Then he sent Richard into my life,” Barbara said. “He is really truly a brother to me.”
Barbara and Darrell are expecting to make a trip out west next summer. The couple hasn’t visited the area together in 30 years, she said. Facebook has allowed Barbara to stay connected to the Quincy community. In fact, many people heard of Richard’s generous gesture.
“It was just like the whole community was excited,” Barbara said. “I love that the people in Quincy have just reached out to Darrell. It’s as if they know him.”
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com