Tucson Medical Center has a real winner working in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, and in this case, it’s more than a figure of speech – this winner took the Grand Prize in the TMC Mega Raffle this spring.
Cheryl Thomas-Stahl, a neonatal nurse practitioner, has spent more than a decade in TMC’s NICU specializing in newborn care with Pediatrix Medical Group. She and her husband Tim have purchased tickets in the Mega Raffle every year, never expecting to win anything.
This year, out of the blue, they won a magnificent new house as the Grand Prize winner in the community-wide Mega Raffle. As sometimes happens when winners have a choice about moving into that spectacular new home, she decided to “settle” for the cash option – a $600,000 payout (before taxes).
Working at the hospital did not gain her any advantage in the Mega Raffle; those who work at TMC have exactly the same chance of winning a prize as any other member of the community, since all entries are created equal. Most entries come from hopefuls beyond the hospital walls; more information on the Mega Raffle is at www.tmcmegaraffle.org.
“Certainly it was a shock to win,” Thomas-Stahl says. “A pleasant shock, of course. I know that after I heard the news, I almost forgot how to get out of the building, even after working here all these years.”
She notes that winning the prize will help make life a little easier, especially now that they are sending two sons through the University of Arizona.
With a long history of family ties to Tucson – Tim since 1959 and Cheryl since 1986 – the couple feels a powerful connection with the community. “We believe in our community hospital. Both of our sons were born at TMC before I was part of the NICU,” she adds.
“Part of the reason for buying the tickets is that it goes to a good cause, but the chance of winning even the small prizes is exciting!” All net proceeds go to support TMC patient care programs.