In the annals of strange promotions, the Syracuse Chiefs might figure in somewhere with a recent contest where a funeral was given away to one “lucky” fan. Even so, the minor-league promotion came at an opportune time for the winner and is a great relief to his family.
After he was announced the winner of a free funeral, Mark Douglas, 51, told the media that his award brings a great measure of peace of mind because last year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is living on borrowed time.
“It’s peace of mind. That’s what it is,” Douglas told the Syracuse Post-Standard after he was announced the winner.
“You just don’t know what it’s meant to us,” wife Ronda said. “We don’t have no life insurance. We have no money. We don’t have that savings account you go through fast when you are diagnosed with cancer.”
The fan won a full funeral from Farone & Son Funeral Home during a promotion the Chiefs called a “Celebration of Life.” The prize is valued at $7,500.
Douglas was chosen the winner after his wife Ronda submitted an essay on his behalf to the Chiefs to explain why he should win the funeral. She told of how he has endured two surgeries and twenty weeks of surgery. She confessed, “We live one day at a time.”
After he was announced the winner, Douglas said that he prayed it was a long time before he needed the prize, but, “If it’s not, the Syracuse Chiefs have made it a lot easier for us.”
Last year the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Pennsylvania had a similar contest.
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