July 24, 2013 – After nearly two months of wondering whether their old neighbor would share the wealth, residents of Gloria Mackenzie’s hometown, East Millinocket, Maine, have gotten word that the winner of the record Powerball jackpot will be donating $2 million towards a new roof for the town’s high school.
The small town, home to only about 2,000 people, was home for Mackenzie until about ten years ago, when she moved to Zephyrhills, Fla.
Two of Mackenzie’s children, Larry and Melinda, still live in East Millinocket. Melinda – Mindy as she’s known to neighbors – is a biology teacher at Schenk High School, which set the town to hoping the big winner would chip in for the badly needed roof repairs.
Superintendent Quenten Clark told the Bangor Daily News Tuesday that he’d received word from the family that Mackenzie would be donating a $2 million chunk of her $278 million after-tax fortune towards the repairs.
Clark said the family gave him a “verbal assurance” of their intentions to donate the money, however the Daily News reported that the large donation may rest on the condition that the school board passes a new budget.
According to Clark, the school roof project may not be the last of the donations the town can expect.
He hinted that the family is setting up “some sort of charitable fund that they said they will do more, a lot more, for the community.”
East Millinocket has been economically troubled since the Great Northern Paper Mill closed in 2010. It was sold and re-opened by Cate Street Capital, but in June, residents told Portland Press Herald reporter Eric Russell that they don’t expect it to stay open forever.