And the winner is:

Gary Oftedahl

Profile: Gary Oftedahl
By Jordan Elton

Sometimes you give just for the sake of giving back and for Gary Oftedahl, that was reason enough to buy two raffle tickets for the 2014 Toyota Prius Raffle at the Minnesota Zoo this summer. And it was the decision to buy the second one that landed him a new car.

“It’s kind of amazing,” Gary said. “All I thought I was doing was contributing to an organization and now, I won a car!”

When Gary was first notified of his winning, he was in the middle of a meeting and thought it was a scam. But after reading over the email more carefully, he realized it wasn’t a hoax. After posting on Facebook and Twitter, he has stirred a lot of excitement around his new car and the Minnesota Zoo.

“I’ve been getting people aware of it, in hopes it will have a ripple effect,” Gary said. “It’s the idea of reciprocity—I was doing something nice for the Zoo and in return they are doing something for me.”

A passionate and enthusiastic connector, Gary said this experience has been a really fun thing and it has got him thinking about how he can give back more to the Zoo down the road. A recent retiree, he has started to consider how he can give back with his time now.

“I just really appreciate the Minnesota Zoo Foundation’s work on this, as well as Toyota’s willingness to work through this process,” Gary said. “They returned something in kindness to me, so now how can I be of more help to them.”


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