$50,000 gift could be life changing for Infinite Energy supervisor
Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
First came the shock of hearing her name.
Then an overwhelming feeling of excitement and appreciation.
Leeann Lee was instantly $50,000 richer when her name was drawn Friday night at the Infinite Energy holiday party at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom at the University of Florida.
Lee hugged her husband, screamed and did a little jig before making her way to the stage, where company founders Darin Cook and Rich Blaser handed her an oversized check.
Lee, 49, is a sales support supervisor at the company, where she has worked for 11 years. She said the award will allow her to pay off credit card debt “and have some left over to buy a new pair of shoes.”
It also will help her take care of her aging mother, which might include getting a bigger house.
“I called my mom. She cried. I called my sisters. They cried.”
Infinite Energy has given away $100,000 at its holiday party each year since 2005, including the $50,000 grand prize, plus several smaller awards.
Infinite Energy, a Gainesville company that provides natural gas in four states and electricity in Texas, has been conducting the drawings since 2005. Another $50,000 is divided among two $10,000 prizes, four $5,000 prizes and four $2,500 prizes.
Lee won twice in one night about five years ago, starting with $2,500 before upgrading to $5,000.
Lee recalled that the founders' purpose of starting the giveaway was to change people's lives.
“It's definitely changed my life,” Lee said on Monday. “It'll change my husband's. It'll change my mother's because we'll be able to take better care of her.”
Lee has been taking Dave Ramsey Financial Wellness classes offered at work.
“I'm not going to go nuts first,” she said. “I need to let it settle in and make the right choices.”