Winner of 2023 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway announced

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 10:31 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We have a winner for the 2023 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

The winner of the 2023 giveaway is Billy Hume of Lawrenceburg. The drawing was held live Thursday during our 5:30 p.m. newscast.

The winner of the Tickets on Sale Prize was Thomas White of Willisburg, who won a $2,500 Clark’s Pump-N-Shop gift card.

The winner of the Early Bird Prize was Cludia Hockensmith of Lawrenceburg, who won a $10,000 Window Source of Kentucky gift card.

The winner of the bonus prize was Mildred Evans of Corbin, who won a $1,500 VISA gift card and a $1,000 Pieratt’s gift card.

It’s hard to believe, but the last eight months have flown by as we watched the 2023 St. Jude Dream Home go from just a plot of land on Stolen Horse Trace in the Home Place subdivision in Hamburg to a 2200-square-foot home built by Mulberry Builders.

When Chris and Chellie Mulberry of Mulberry Builders signed on to be a part of this year’s Dream Home project, they just knew they wanted to give back.

Family comes first in their company, and partnering with St. Jude was a perfect fit.

As the house went up, tickets were sold, and people came by to check out their work; what they found was that the experience was even more rewarding than they could have imagined.

“It has been a very fun and exciting process. We learned a lot. The big thing we learned was the generosity that is in this local community with the builders, with the trade partners, the vendors, and just the community as a whole,” said Chris Mulberry.

Tickets for a chance to win the Lexington Dream Home sold out in 30 days, a record for this market.

At St. Jude, no family ever receives a bill for treatment, food, or lodging.

For Mulberry, visiting St. Jude helped put its mission and this partnership into perspective.

“We got to see the research hospital, we got to see where those kids are being treated, and it makes it so much bigger. You can see the difference that our company is making. The trade partners and the community are just pouring everything into this project,” said Mulberry.

At St. Jude, the mission for the last 60 years has been leading the way in helping to treat and cure childhood cancer.

“St. Jude is just a place when you walk in, you feel hope, and you know that a miracle truly is possible,” said Cassie O’Daniel.

O’Daniel is a Louisville mom who owes the world to St. Jude. In 2019, her then 7-year-old son Caden became very sick.

“We went to a local hospital, and they immediately did a CT scan because he was experiencing really severe headaches in the morning and vomiting. We just thought it was a stomach bug,” said O’Daniel.

Doctors found a tumor, it was right in the center of Caden’s brain.

He would need surgery, and after that one, another was looming.

O’Daniel’s husband, Jason, went on a mission searching out research and care options for their son.

“Normally, a referral from a doctor is how you get into St. Jude, but he (Jason) doesn’t stop, and he called and called,” said O’Daniel.

That persistence paid off, and the night before Caden was to have another surgery, St. Jude called.

So, right before Christmas that year, the family loaded up and headed to St. Jude.

“We pull up, and it’s just lit up for the kids. It’s Christmas decorations everywhere and lights on the trees, and you just pull up and we said, ‘Okay, we know we are in the right place,’” said O’Daniel.

Caden was treated at St. Jude from December 2020 until July of that year.

And through the support of strangers, the O’Daniel family never had to worry about a single thing, including mounting medical bills.

It’s why they are thankful for programs like the Dream Home Giveaway because that support allowed them to focus solely on Caden surviving cancer.

And he did. He is three years cancer-free, thankful every day to be a part of the St. Jude family.

“Our family is truly, truly blessed, and without supporters, St. Jude wouldn’t be what it is, and we can’t say thank you enough to all of those who have supported St. Jude along the way,” said O’Daniel.

The Dream Home in Lexington helped raise $700,000 to help children like Caden O’Daniel at St. Jude.

It takes a lot of work to build a home, a symbol of the tireless work that happens day in and day out at St. Jude.

This year’s home is the culmination of more than 75 businesses, vendors and volunteers working together.

One of the most visible partners is Mulberry Builders, but there are also plenty of perks from other companies.

There are handmade and custom nightstands built for the primary suite by Melissa Alsip and Alsip Designs.

In the primary suite bathroom, there is an element of luxury that you won’t see but you will feel. Thanks to the folks at Schluter Systems and their heated tile floors.

Entertaining in this new home won’t be a problem courtesy of 46 Solutions and its data cabling for the home, including both audio and video and outdoor speakers on the patio.

No matter the contribution, for every partner involved, the reason is simple: how could you not help out a place like St. Jude and its mission?