‘Extra Mile’ Winner Takes the Cash Over the Trax

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio — Joe Datchuk didn’t really have a lucky number going into the finals of the Greenwood Chevrolet Extra Mile Giveaway.

Now, he’s got a special connection to No. 10.

Datchuk’s key was the last one to have a try in the ignition of the 2020 Chevrolet Trax that was the grand prize of this year’s event. Because of the pandemic, the event that’s usually held at the dealership with guests and the families of the 10 finalists was completely virtual. So all Datchuk could do was watch on his computer as Ginny Pasha president of the United Way of Trumbull County, gave the 10th and final key a try.

When the engine started, Datchuk said he was shocked.

“I’ve never won anything,” the Girard resident said.

The suspense was high, said Pasha, who along with Bob Hannon, president of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, acted as surrogates for the 10 finalists.

“Even my stomach was fluttering,” Pasha said. “I must say, I was startled by how nervous I was, because you just know you’re serving as an advocate or a proxy for the winner.”

While Datchuk appreciates the Trax – a subcompact SUV – he and his wife, Emily, already have a vehicle with a third row of seats to drive around their three kids who are all under 5. So, he opted for the alternative prize of $15,000.

The Datchuks actually knew the outcome before the event was televised Wednesday at 5 p.m. on WYTV. But the rest of their family and friends had no idea.

“I kept it pretty tight lipped,” he said.

Individuals who donated $260 or more to either of the United Way organizations during 2020 – at least $5 weekly – were eligible for the drawing. Datchuk, who works as corporate counsel for 717 Credit Union, donates because the money benefits the community, he said.

“To me, it’s just a no-brainer,” he said. “It comes out of my payroll every month and goes to a good cause.”

Greg Greenwood, owner and operator of Greenwood Chevrolet, said he and his staff selected the Trax for the drawing.

“It was right after we reopened post-COVID shutdown,” Greenwood said. “Which would have been the third week of March last year.”

Because of the pandemic, Pasha and Hannon felt it was important to have the vehicle for this year’s campaign, Greenwood said, “and if they could do some workplace campaigns, they thought that this would be a really important year to not miss it.”

Pictured: Joe Datchuk, the winner of this year’s Greenwood Chevrolet Extra Mile Giveaway, is congratulated by Greg Greenwood of Greenwood Chevrolet.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.