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Charity leader wins $27 million in California lottery

California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Charity leader wins $27 million in California lottery

Money will help her crusade to save unwanted babies.

All too often, the ring of cell phone means there is another abandoned newborn at the morgue, another forsaken child for her to name and bury in a shoebox-size coffin under a white cross in the California desert.

Last week, though, Faris-Cifelli who has had to rely on donations, grants and fund-raisers to give babies a decent burial got a very different call.

She had won the California lottery.

The jackpot: $27 million.

"Maybe it's the children saying, 'Thank you' for taking care of them when nobody else would," Faris-Cifelli said. "It's a gift and one for which we feel an awesome responsibility."

The money could not come at a better time for Faris-Cifelli and her Garden of Angels, the tiny cemetery where she has buried dozens of tiny children whose mothers didn't hear or didn't care about California's safe-haven law.

Under the 2001 law, parents have three days to abandon infants without fear of prosecution. California is one of 46 states with such a law.

Faris-Cifelli helped win passage of the law and has made it her life's work to spread the word that scared and confused parents should drop their newborns at firehouses and hospitals not in trash cans and alleys. She lobbies in states without such laws, talks to teens and police and has attended 12 trials of mothers accused of abandoning their infants. She also lays the dead to rest.

Faris-Cifelli, 49, does all that with just a three-person staff and $172,000 annual budget covered by donations, grants, car washes and bake sales.

Now the deeply religious mother and her husband, Steve, will receive an after-tax lump sum of nearly $9 million. Some of the winnings will go to the couple's seven children, most to her crusade. It was only the third time she and her husband had played the lottery.


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8 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by urbossmanpimpin.
Page 1 of 1
Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
FEMA Region V Camp #21
United States
Member #520
July 27, 2002
5699 Posts
Posted: December 8, 2004, 1:38 pm - IP Logged


Good things really DO happen to good people.

 to her and her cause!

Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).

    fja's avatar - gnome1

    United States
    Member #91
    January 19, 2002
    12006 Posts
    Posted: December 8, 2004, 1:49 pm - IP Logged



    well done!!

    "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
      Posted: December 8, 2004, 4:17 pm - IP Logged

      I'd like to see somebody (not me-thank you!) make a connection between cash v annuity, and the                pro-choice/pro-life argument.

        Poway CA (San Diego County)
        United States
        Member #3489
        January 25, 2004
        14120 Posts
        Posted: December 8, 2004, 5:47 pm - IP Logged

        I don't know this lady, but I'm very happy for her and her cause.  The ticket was purchased in my home town of Yucaipa.

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          Beautiful Florida
          United States
          Member #5709
          July 18, 2004
          20228 Posts
          Posted: December 8, 2004, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                  ** amen to that rick  **


                                                         " You can not control the Wind, but you can direct the Sail "

            JodyC522's avatar - shapes quad_feather.jpg
            New Member
            United States
            Member #5218
            June 23, 2004
            13 Posts
            Posted: December 9, 2004, 4:55 pm - IP Logged

            If anyone deserves the money this wonderful person does.  If you go to her site it tells of what she has done for those poor babies.

            AMEN to her!!!!

              Poway CA (San Diego County)
              United States
              Member #3489
              January 25, 2004
              14120 Posts
              Posted: December 9, 2004, 5:46 pm - IP Logged

              Go to www.calottery.com and click on the "television" screen.  You will see a great news article done by Channel 2 in Los Angeles.

                urbossmanpimpin's avatar - batman49
                Dallas, Texas
                United States
                Member #7272
                September 28, 2004
                179 Posts
                Posted: December 10, 2004, 2:29 am - IP Logged

                i like it when people like these win