Appreciation Winners’ Stories – 2021


This year’s Appreciation Winners have entered the TMC Mega Raffle in previous years and many of them have previously won prizes. Here are heartfelt stories from our top three winners in 2021:


Melissa Wiertsema – Winner of $50,000

Melissa was shocked to learn she and her husband won $50,000 in this year’s appreciation draw. Upon hearing the news Melissa shared, “I never expected to win, we are still processing.” Her Mom received care at TMC. As a way to honor her mother for her birthday, Melissa started purchasing tickets every year beginning in 2016. The first year, Melissa and her husband were excited when they won a DVR. “The TMC Mega Raffle is such a good cause, and we are happy to support the hospital and the healthcare workers.” As the news sinks in, the Wiertsemas are not sure what they are going to do with their prize, but they are thinking about taking a nice vacation when the pandemic is over.


Robert Schweitzer – Winner of $25,000

Robert has been an annual participant in the TMC Mega Raffle since year-one. He won a couple of smaller prizes twice before, but third time is the charm for Robert as the $25,000 appreciation winner. Robert is retired and splits his time between his home in Alaska and living in Tucson 5 months of the year to enjoy the warm weather. When he moved to the area in 2013, he heard about the TMC Mega Raffle on the radio and he’s been entering ever since. He said getting the call from Kathy made his day. “It was the best news along with getting his first COVID vaccine,” which he is scheduled for later in the week. Robert said he plans to put his winnings in savings and put it towards his retirement.


Peter Spronken – Winner of $10,000

Peter and his wife, Elaine, are longtime Tucson residents that enter the TMC Mega Raffle every year to support the hospital. They are on “cloud nine” with the news that they are the $10,000 appreciation winners. They said they initially hesitated to buy tickets this year, but they are incredibly happy they did.  “It is a good cause and we have always received excellent care at TMC.” Elaine had a hip replacement last March when the pandemic broke out. She was happy to be up and walking again in 2-3 weeks. The couple are already planning to share their winnings with their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, and enjoy something special for their anniversary later in February. They also can’t wait to travel again soon to see family that they haven’t seen for a year.