15-year-old wins Ford Focus in United Way fundraiser

Published 1:08 pm Friday, September 29, 2017


Every year, Chilton County United Way hosts a special fundraiser benefitting its next fiscal year budget. This year’s fundraiser collected more than $3,000 through a car drawing for a 2003 Ford Focus donated by Southern Dixie Auto Repair. The winner was announced at the organization’s annual kickoff event on Sept. 26.

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Rabren was the lucky winner.

Rabren is the grandson of Chilton County United Way Director Yolanda Boggs.

“Tiger took his $100, said, ‘I’ll buy five tickets,’ and we said, ‘What’s the chance of him winning? Little to none,’” Boggs recalled.

“Tiger is 15 years old, he’s in the 10th grade,” Boggs explained to guests, then gestured abover her head, “Tiger’s this tall. If you go to the Chilton County High School, you see the band, you see long, blonde hair? That’s my Tiger.”

According to his mother and Boggs’ daughter, Shannon Fox, Rabren is a straight-A student and is involved in the school band and Boy Scouts.

Boggs said Rabren spends his summers volunteering at Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center, Inc.

“He’s such a deserving child,” Fox said of her son. “I honestly could not think of a better human being for this to happen to.”

Rabren was nearly at a loss for words after Boggs picked him up early from school and chauffeured him to his new car, which was waiting for him at the kickoff location at the Alabama Power Company Conference Center.

He described learning the news of his win at school:

“I was terrified,” Rabren said. “The principal walked into the band room — I was just reading my book — and he looks at me and says, ‘Come on, Tiger, I need you to come with me.’ I was panicking, really. He didn’t tell anything. He told me, ‘Come here.’ And I’m like, oh no.”

Rabren said Boggs and “four other important people from the school” were waiting for him in the school office.

“And they just all looked at me. I said, ‘Oh no, I did something really bad, didn’t I?’”

Rabren said Boggs responded, “Well, no. You won the car!”

Rabren said he was confused at first, and when Boggs reminded him of the car drawing, he was surprised.

“I would have never expected to… I never win anything. This is…” he was still at a loss for words.

Melton presented Rabren with the keys to the Ford Focus and introduced him to the basic features of the vehicle.

The vehicle has a manual transmission, which Rabren said he knows how to operate but has still had little experience driving. He said he is confident he will learn well.

Rabren’s win had been announced at the conclusion to the kickoff when Boggs called upon “an unsuspecting person” to draw the winner.

She selected the surprised Circuit Judge Bill Lewis from the audience of guests.

“Who better than the judge?” she had said.

To those present, Rabren’s win was a double blessing for Boggs and Rabren.

“Good things come to good people,” Jeff Melton, owner of Southern Dixie Auto Repair, said. “I believe that, I believe that.”