Aurora woman wins Heartland United Way’s 25 Keys of Christmas Car Giveaway

The winner of the Heartland United Way 25 Keys of Christmas event named during Thursday nights event at Tom Dinsdale Automotive.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 11:30 AM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Heartland United Way wrapped another year of its 25 Keys of Christmas Car Giveaway. The event marked its 20th year of giving away a vehicle, donated by Tom and Kim Dinsdale from Dinsdale Automotive.

People who donated $260 to the Heartland United Way got their name in the running.

Ahead of Thursday, 24 keys were drawn, half of those announced during Local4 Midday, naming a person who would have a shot at winning a brand new GMC Terrain. The last key announced during their event Thursday, where dozens of people gathered.

Vehicle donated by Tom Dinsdale Automotive for this year's 25 Keys of Christmas with Heartland...
Vehicle donated by Tom Dinsdale Automotive for this year's 25 Keys of Christmas with Heartland United Way.(Heartland United Way)

From Chief to Hornady and Principal Financial, many of the people watching were from companies in the area that have supported the nonprofit.

Heartland United Way President Karen Rathke shared thanks to everyone in the room who has helped them continue to raise money for programs that benefit Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.

She said they are at 91 percent of their goal with $1,322,307 raised. You add that with the $1,476,970 raised during Go Big Give with its partnership with the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation, they have a combined total of nearly $2.8 million. This is money going back to the people of central Nebraska.

One way they raise money is through the 25 Keys of Christmas campaign.

Each of the key winners including the 25th that was selected at the event, made their way to the front to grab a scrapper with a number on it. They then stood waiting for all them to be chosen. Once that was done, emcee Derek Apfel laid out what would happen next.

Tom Dinsdale would pull a number out of a bag and if their number was called, unfortunately, they didn’t win the car.

It came down to the final two as the room filled with excitement and then the last number drawn.

Jill Kottwitz was announced as the winner of the 2022 GMC Terrain after her number wasn’t called.

She works for BonnaVilla Homes in Aurora, a division of Chief Industries. She’s been with the company for 25 years, most recently as a drafting manager.

“I am so excited,” Kottwitz said. But then added that her kids would be even more excited about the newest addition. She says she has a daughter who is going to be 16 soon so she’ll get her old car and Jill will enjoy the new ride.