Sometimes the most unexpected things happen at the most unexpected moments. Sometimes they are small encounters, sometimes they are so much larger than one could fathom. Some call these moments fate or destiny. Flagstaff resident Meg Adakai calls her unexpected moment a true blessing.
Adakai won a new 2018 Toyota Camry, just before her 30th birthday and Christmas, after buying a raffle ticket as part of Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation’s annual Turquoise Ball.
All funds raised through the 2017 Turquoise Ball will go toward the creation of a technology training center at Flagstaff Medical Center. The new center will provide education surrounding new and emerging technologies, such as a variety of smart-room technologies, before they are implemented with patients.
The car was donated by Findlay Toyota of Flagstaff and raffled off during the Ball. Findlay Toyota has been a sponsor of the Turquoise Ball for more than 10 years.
“I bought one $30 raffle ticket on the very last day they were for sale,” Adakai said. “I thought, ‘Why not?’”
But Adakai’s thoughts changed after the slow walk back to her patients at Flagstaff Medical Center where she works as a mental health technician in FMC’s Behavioral Health unit.
“By the time I got back to my unit, I was thinking that buying the ticket was just silly and a waste of money, even though the raffle benefits a good cause,” explained Adakai. “Our financial situation is pretty tight right now and we don’t have much extra, especially with two kids and Christmas just around the corner.”
To make the young mom’s financial situation a bit worse, her two-year old daughter had spent two weeks in October at Phoenix Children’s Hospital battling a viral illness.
“I wasn’t able to work for several weeks while my daughter was in the hospital,” Adakai said. “The loss of funds from not working, combined with the costs of being out of town and medical bills added up quickly. Christmas was going to be tight, and I was a bit gloomy about my 30th birthday. The last thing I really expected was to win the raffle and be given a brand new car!”
Adakai found out from her neighbor, who had attended the 57th annual Turquoise Ball on Dec. 2, that she had won the car. “She was so excited she called me that night to tell me. The next day, I received a call from the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation to tell me [I] won! I was still in disbelief.”
Adakai went to Findlay Toyota to pick up her new vehicle. She was grateful and beyond excited but also a bit apprehensive when it came to driving a sedan. Because of where she lived and her second job, she needed a vehicle that could navigate rough, and sometimes snowy, roads. Findlay Toyota gave Adakai the option to keep the Camry or upgrade to a Rav 4, paying only the difference in price. Adakai chose the Rav 4 and Findlay assisted her in financing the SUV. The vehicle replaces her Subaru that has logged more than 200,000 miles.
She says she is incredibly grateful to have two now-healthy kids, a good job, a place to live, friends, family and a new car.
“I still don’t have the words to explain how grateful I am to everyone – the hospital, the NAH Foundation and Findlay Toyota. What a great way to end my 20s and start my 30s, and what a great way to close out 2017 and welcome 2018! Thank you, NAH and Findlay. I am blessed beyond measure.” FBN
By Starla S. Collins
Findlay Toyota’s Joe “Jotini” Gray hands Meg Adakai the keys to her new vehicle she won after purchasing a $30 raffle ticket as part of the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation annual Turquoise Ball.
Photo by Starla Collins