Hospice home winner had helping hand
Kole went hunting on Friday and he wasn’t looking for a house.
He was after a moose to fill his freezer and while he came back empty-handed, the biggest trophy he’s every nailed was waiting for him two hours later when his phone rang and he found out he’s just won the Prince George Hospice Dream Home Lottery.
Hitting the jackpot Friday came as a bittersweet moment for Jim and his wife Leslie because when he returned from his hunt Leslie informed him her brother, Robert Goltz, had died that day of a massive heart attack in the Okanagan.
“I was really close to him, we had really good relationship,” said Jim Kole.
“I was just totally down and then, boom, I hit the ceiling, and then I thought about my brother-in-law again, so I went down, it was one of those up-and-down rollercoaster days.”
Jim is convinced his brother-in-law had a spiritual hand in his ticket being picked out of the huge drum of 10,999 tickets in the sold-out lottery.
“A lot of people I’ve talked to have said, ‘You know what, he was part of it,’” he said.
“The lady I met at the home itself from the Prince George Hospice House Society (executive director Donna Flood) said she’s seen a lot of stuff happen in her time there and this is one of them.”
The Koles haven’t decided whether they will move into the $640,000 six-bedroom,, four-bathroom home in the Nechako View subdivision at 4034 Brink Dr. They’ve lived in their house on Hemlock Street for 28 years, where they raised two daughters. He’s a self-employed contractor who specializes in renovations and the 55-year-old says there’s not much left for him to fix in their current home.
“We were thinking earlier about selling and moving to a different house in town here and this just changes everything, there’s a lot of decisions to make if you want to keep it or sell it or rent it,” Jim said. “My kids grew up in this house and time will tell. I’m not rushing into anything until I get some advice.”
Jim and his wife Leslie buy home lottery tickets every year to support the Hospice House palliative care programs and Spruce Kings hockey team. He was working at Summit Lake on a renovation project in August when he heard about the hospice home lottery.
“They said I was one of the first people to go in there and buy a ticket,” Jim said. “I was out there by myself and I thought to myself, ‘that’s my Number 1 priority to do when I get home, so Saturday morning I got up and said to my wife, ‘let’s go look at the house,’ and I bought the ticket.”
A late surge of support last week resulted in the last 2,000 tickets being purchased a day before the draw, ensuring the society’s biggest annual fundraiser was a complete sellout and that will cover a good chunk of the society’s operating costs. The 10,000 square-foot Rotary Hospice House at 3089 Clapperton St., offers 10 private guest rooms which allow families to remain with their loved ones at all hours during the final days of their lives.
Jim Kole and his wife Leslie, joined by their two daughters and their families. receive the grand tour Saturday after Kole won the Prince George Hospice House Dream Home Lottery.