The single mother of three children learned that firsthand when she won a $35,000 voucher to Pat Lobb's Toyota of McKinney at her church’s annual festival.
“I never win two dollars off my lotto tickets,” Curtin says. “So, when I bought those two $20 raffle tickets as a donation, I just thought I was doing my part for our church. I mean, how did this even happen?"
It started with a simple phone call to the dealership. Dealer Principal Pat Lobb and his wife Sharon are also devoted parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and regularly advertise in the church bulletin.
“Father Rudy (Garcia) asked me if Mr. Lobb might consider making a donation to the church’s annual fall festival raffle,” Leasing Manager George Mogollon says. “Mr. Lobb is fierce about helping others, so I told him I’d ask.”
Father Rudy Garcia of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, pictured at his church’s annual festival with Frisco, Texas, Mayor Pro Tem Shona Huffman. He says Lobb’s gift is confirmation of how the goodness of humanity can create an enduring footprint.
Lobb already had a strong track record of giving back. He built his green dealership in 2005 using 75 percent recycled materials. Although the initiative brought the dealership international acclaim, Lobb simply says, “It was just the right thing to do.”
So, when Mogollon approached Lobb with Father Rudy’s request, it was a no-brainer. Lobb made a $35,000 donation in the form a voucher redeemable at the dealership — greater than St. Francis has ever seen in its 40 years of cultural celebrations.
“It made my wife and I feel so good. We wanted the winner to use that money however they needed to take care of their car needs,” Lobb says. “And we knew that dollar amount would ensure a tremendous success for the festival even before it started.”
On weekends preceding the celebration, Mogollon faithfully displayed Toyota vehicles to promote the raffle. And it worked. In 2018, the church raised a record $140,270 compared to $8,139 five years ago. And unlike previous festivals, thousands of visitors attended.
Among the revelers, Curtin and two of her children: 14-year-old Casey and 11-year-old Isabella. She adopted the biological siblings in 2016. But when the raffle winner was announced, she had already left the festival.
“I got a text that Father Rudy wanted to call me,” Curtin says. “And my first thought was to say to my son, ‘What did you do?'”
In reality, Father Rudy and a joyful Lobb couldn’t wait to share the incredible news.
“It was like, wow, this was the hand of God making this choice because it could have been anyone here today winning this raffle,” Lobb says. “But it was a parishioner. It was Christine.”
Curtin also fondly recalls that pivotal moment.
“I was like, ‘No way!’ I think I accidentally cursed in front of my priest! But it was all just so unbelievable!”
It’s been a game changer for the single mom. Curtin used the voucher to purchase a much-needed second vehicle. And her children give their new Highlander rave reviews.
“They love the bucket seats, the room, the comfort. You have no idea as a single parent how much mileage you rack up just getting the kids around town. So, this has just been an incredible gift.”
Father Rudy says Lobb’s donation is also a confirmation of how the goodness of humanity can create an enduring footprint.
“It’s incredible. When you impact the life of just one person, it has the power to effect positive change in our society as a whole. Pat’s gift pulled our community together in a powerful way.”
To such praise, Lobb will only accept the role of a humble facilitator. He insists Mogollon, Father Rudy and his congregation did the heavy lifting. But with a laugh, he also hints, “We’ll probably do something else for the fall festival next year. So, Father Rudy, stay tuned!”