2009 Ronald McDonald House Dream House Raffle

ENCINITAS: Charity chooses local home for annual raffle

Popular event is fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House

By RUTH MARVIN WEBSTER – For the North County Times | Sunday, January 18, 2009 3:56 PM PST

This 4,600-square-foot Encinitas home is the grand prize in the annual Ronald McDonald Dream House Raffle. (Photo by Bill Wechter – Staff Photographer)
Last year’s winners of the Ronald McDonald House Dream House Raffle, Michelle and Guy Zavodny of Oceanside, seen here with their daughter, Layla, check out the backyard of the Encinitas home that will be raffled this year. (Photo by Bill Wechter – Staff Photographer)

ENCINITAS —- For those who dream of living in a million-dollar home a mile from the beach, an entry in the fifth annual Dream House Raffle to benefit San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House Charities might be just the ticket.

Between now and June, any U.S. resident 18 years or older can purchase a chance at winning a $1.9 million “dream” home in Encinitas. Tickets are $150 each.

The event is the fifth annual Dream House Raffle to benefit Ronald McDonald House of San Diego. In lieu of the house, the winner can choose $1.6 million in cash.

Tickets went on sale Monday, and charity organizers say they expect to sell all 35,000 tickets before the grand prize drawing on June 20.

To encourage early buying, three “early bird” drawings will also be held in February, March and April for cash prizes ranging from $300 to $25,000.

That gives ticket holders a 1 in 100 chance of winning a prize of $300 or more.

“One in a hundred are pretty good odds,” said Oceanside resident Guy Zavodny, who with his wife, Michelle, won the $1.1 million grand prize in last year’s raffle. “The math works for me.”

The Zavodnys and their 6-month-old daughter, Layla, live in a small beach cottage in Oceanside. They said with the million dollars they won last year, they have started a college fund for Layla and have plans to remodel their kitchen.

The only extravagance they indulged in after winning, they said, was an expensive purse for Michelle and a PlayStation 3 for Guy.

“Stuff is stuff,” said Zavodny. He said he bought two winning raffle tickets last year and has already bought two for this year’s raffle.

This year’s Dream House is a 4,600-square-foot plantation-style home less than a mile from the beach. It boasts five bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths, as well as solar panels, hardwood floors, a chef’s kitchen equipped with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, and lush landscaping with a pool in back.

Raffle organizers say a minimum number of tickets must be sold for the house to be awarded. Last year, that minimum was 26,000 tickets. Because only 23,500 tickets were sold, the Zavodnys’ prize was $1.1 million in cash — or half the net profits raised in the raffle

This year, 30,500 tickets must be sold for the raffle ticket winner to qualify for the Encinitas home, which the charity chose from others now on the market.

Proceeds from the raffle will go toward building a second house in San Diego County. The houses provide free lodging for families of children being treated for life-threatening illnesses at Rady’s Children Hospital in San Diego.

Since 1980, the first Ronald McDonald House —- a two-story, 12-bedroom 9,000-square-foot home —- has provided more than 120,000 nights of lodging for more than 12,000 families, but has had to turn some families away.

With the opening of a new 47-bedroom house on April 4, Daniel Sinton, director of development for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in San Diego, said they will be better able to help families coping with the challenges of having a children being treated for serious illness or injuries.

To learn more or to print out an entry form, go to www.sdraffle.com or call (888) 433-0331.

Not so Sure About This Eating Thing!

Layla started solids about two weeks ago but she is not so sure she is into it!  She clamps her lips shut and really is not interested!  Here are some pictures of our first attempts with carrots, sweet potatoes, and bananas.

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January 4th was the first time Layla sat in her high chair.  This is right after her daddy put it together!  A face full of rice cereal!  This is before the Dr. gave us the ok to start veggies at her 6 month baby well appointment.

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First bites of carrots.  January 6th after Dr. Woerpel gave us the go ahead on veggies!

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Look at that face!

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Yeah, not so much!!

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Another day another carrot!

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January 19th.  Here she is with bananas!  Little Miss Independent wants to do it all by herself!

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Beer, on the other hand, she would love to try!  Takes after her Daddy!

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A Beautiful Family Photo

On January 14th we had the opportunity to attend Media Day for the Ronald McDonald House Charities 2009 Dream House Raffle.  Our presence will hopefully drum up excitement and help the charity sell more tickets to this year’s raffle.  The hope was that people would see that “real people” actually do win these things!  We were interviewed by News Channel 8 and Fox 5 News.  We were also interviewed by the North County Times and will have a photo in Encinitas Magazine.  The house was beautiful and it is always nice to spend time with Daniel of the Ronald McDonald House, he is the Director of Development!  Everyone there is so wonderful, it was a fun day!  We were on News 8 at 5pm, Fox 5 at 10 pm and we should be in the North County Times soon!

Here is the beautiful photo that will appear in Encinitas Magazine

Family picture Ronald Mc Donald house 2009

Layla’s First Christmas 2008

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Christmas morning at home, just us, Guy, Mishel, Layla, and the Willdog!

We have had a very busy few weeks!  We enjoyed our first Christmas with Layla and look forward to many more firsts throughout the new year!  She is not crawling yet but everyday I think… today could be the day!  She gets on all fours and rocks back and forth like she is revving her engine getting ready to take off, then she flops back down!  

Layla received many wonderful gifts from friends and family.  Auntie Nic got her some great fabric blocks with the letters of the alphabet and pictures on them, I have more fun with them than Layla does right now!  She will knock down a tower that I have built, I am waiting for the squeals of delight that I am sure are soon to come!  Christmas 2008 148

                                                     Playing with my blocks!

Auntie Nic and Grandma Janet also got her a fun fishbowl toy, a drum, maracas, books and more!  Nona and Grandpa got Layla a ton of adorable outfits from Bloomingdales, Nona’s favorite store!  Gram got her gifts that follow her favorite theme, stuff that can be put in the mouth!  Great teething toys, bath toys, and a fun spinner that suctions on to anything which can also be chewed on!  Guy and I got her bath toys and books!  Of course all Layla wanted to do was chew on the wrapping paper!    Christmas 2008 037

MMMM  wrapping paper!!

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Opening my first ever Christmas gift!Christmas 2008 038

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Christmas morning at the Zavodny household!

Layla and Grandpa, notice Layla’s super cute reindeer jammies!!

We also had a wonderful traditional Italian Christmas Eve at Nona and Grandpa’s house with Great Nanny Lucy and Great Grandpa Eugene, Auntie Nic and friends.  Christmas 2008 016

Under Grandpa and Nona’s tree on Christmas Eve!

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Everything was delicious!  Christmas Morning was spent at our house, where we always have Champagne Brunch!  This year Guy made a delicious Prime Rib!  We then relaxed before heading off to see Grandma Janet! 

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After visiting with Grandma J we drove out to Rancho Bernardo to see the Capuozzo family for Christmas dinner!

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In front of the Sassano Christmas tree on Christmas Night!

It was a very busy Christmas!It is very fun to have Layla be a part of our lives to celebrate with us!  It is truly wonderful to see how much happiness and joy she brings to so many people!  Christmas Day was also Layla’s 6 month Birthday! 

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I baked a cake and frosted half of it, for desert on Christmas we stuck half of a candle in the half cake and sang half of Happy Birthday to her!  Silly but fun!

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Half a cake for half a year!

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Celebrating with my Great Grandpa Eugene

We see the pediatrician soon for Layla’s 6 month baby well check up  and are excited to see how much she has grown!  We are curious to see how much she weighs now and hope we get the go ahead to start feeding her vegetables and fruit!  

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But of course I am the Best Gift Ever!!!!!!

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