12/15/11 — No. 6 wins Mazda 6 at United Way event

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No. 6 wins Mazda 6 at United Way event

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on December 15, 2011 1:46 PM

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Allison Carter

Jonathan Smith, an employee of AT&T Technical Support Center, gives a thumbs up to friends and family Wednesday at the United Wayne car giveaway. He picked the key that fit into the Mazda 6's door and was the winner of the car. He was one of 20 people who got the chance to win a car -- and, ironically, was the sixth person to try a key.

Six was the lucky number for Jonathan Smith of Mount Olive Wednesday night.

Smith drew the sixth key in the United Way's Fair Share Challenge.

And when his turn came to try it in the driver's door of the 2011 Mazda 6, the key worked, and he went home the winner of the shiny red sedan.

"It feels awesome. This will help Christmas a lot," Smith said, beaming as family and friends gathered around to congratulate him and to take snapshots of him with the car.

The Challenge, held at The Brick Village on Patetown Road, was the culmination of United Way's Fair Share competition, but it doesn't mean the campaign is over, United Way Community Chairman Julie Daniels said.

With the financial drive at 80 percent, there is still much to do to reach the goal of $1.3 million by the end of the year, she said.

Twenty Fair Share contributors were selected at random to participate in the drawing for the car, which was donated by Frema Motor Co., as has been the case for several years.

Frankie Tillman of Frema said the business enjoys being the sponsor of the event.

"We're proud to be a part of it," she said. "We just want to give something back to the community."

"Wayne County is so good to us, and we try to make sure we give something back," said Joey Tillman, the dealership's general manager.

Smith, who works at the AT&T Technical Support Center, said he plans to sell his current ride and get rid of his car payments.

His wife, Kristen, said she gave all the credit for their winning to "the Lord."

Geoff Hulse served as emcee for the event. He praised the Fair Share givers and said it was the people like Smith, who simply donated a small portion of their salary throughout the year, who provide the bulk of United Way's support.

"It's not the big donors. It's what you give as your Fair Share, that's what really makes us get to the campaign goal," Hulse said.