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Why the Central Illinois Foodbank is getting a $168,000 'Wheel of Fortune' prize

Why the Central Illinois Foodbank is getting a $168,000 'Wheel of Fortune' prize

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Shipt x Sur La Table Launch Event with Jennie Garth

Actress Jennie Garth is shown above with Sur La Table, partnering with Shipt, to offer food delivery service in New York for the 2019 holiday season. Garth has made a $168,000 donation to Central Illinois Foodbank after winning on ABC's "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune," which aired Thursday.

SPRINGFIELD — A big donation is on its way to Central Illinois Foodbank after actress Jennie Garth won $168,000 for the charity on ABC’s “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.”

In Thursday’s episode, the Illinois native finished the game with a successful answer in the “food and drink” category, fitting to secure her donation to the Springfield-based food bank.

The team at Central Illinois Foodbank was excited to receive the news, which is “kind of a unicorn event for us,” said Adam Handy, partner resource coordinator.

“It doesn’t come around too too often, so we were really excited and blessed to receive the gift because an extra $168,600 really means a lot of food going out,” he said. “It really helps us continue the work we’re already doing.”

Garth, who starred in “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “What I Like About You,” grew up outside Urbana, but Handy said other than that, her only tie to the food bank is the fact that she wanted to benefit neighbors in the group's 21-county service area.

Handy said Garth's donation was really encouraging for the Central Illinois Foodbank team.

"Whether you’re a celebrity or whether you’re one of our neighbors, it really goes to show that if everyone pays attention to hunger — because it’s a 365-day-a-year problem — we can really make a lot of progress in helping out our neighbors,” he said. “We were just really grateful that even a celebrity would have the giving nature that we hope to see in our neighbors that we walk by every day. Whether that’s giving us money or time, we’re just grateful that she chose to do one of those.”

The episode also featured another Illinois native: host Pat Sajak was born in Chicago. 


21 celebrities with ties to Bloomington-Normal

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.

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