When Mara Gabrielian was told she was this year’s Granville Home of Hope Winner, her response was an appropriate, “Oh my God,” along with some crying.
Gabrielian has a mother she has to stay home to take care of, so she was unable to attend the drawing in person.
“She prayed and prayed for this opportunity,” said Fresno Council Member Paul Caprioglio. “And her prayers came true.”
Granville Home of Hope started in 2006, making this year the 10th annual home drawing, with more than $3 million in ticket sales that raise money for local community organizations. Every year, the grand prize is a house with multiple amenities, with smaller prizes offered such as a 51-inch TV or a helicopter ride.
This year 4,511 tickets were sold at $100 a piece, raising $451,100, said public affairs spokeswoman Lisa Boyles.
The house is at 2533 N. Millard Ave. in Belterra, the newest planned community from Granville Homes Inc. The 2,016-square-foot home is valued at more than $375,000, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a library, a two-car garage and a solar lease prepaid for 20 years.
It’s fully landscaped, with technology that raises home efficiency by up to 30% compared to other new homes. There is also subscription-based technology allowing the homeowner to control lights, locks, temperature and alarm with a smartphone or tablet, with the first year’s subscription free.
There are other, less technology-enhanced features such as 2-inch faux wood blinds, granite kitchen counters and marble in the bathrooms.
In celebration of the 10th drawing, two new organizations were added this year to bring the total number of beneficiaries to 10: EPU Children’s Center and Fresno Police Chaplaincy.
Rodney Lowery, director of Fresno Police Chaplaincy, said the fundraiser has been not only a chance to get the word out, but also is a recognition from Granville about the importance of the work they do.
The chaplaincy will use the funds raised for its school resources program. There are two parts to the program: prevention and intervention, he said.
The prevention comes from a partnership with Fresno Unified School District to teach a “bounce back” approach to life’s challenges in elementary schools — the program is used in about a third of the district’s schools, with Fresno Unified interested in complete coverage.
Fresno police get about 2,600 to 3,000 calls a year reporting runaways, with about 10% lost to human trafficking. Instead of turning the runaways over to police officers, they could assist the chaplaincy with volunteer and paid work. The chaplaincy will also work with them to address why they felt a need to run away.
Sarah Anderson: (559) 441-6248; @Sarahsonofander