winnerblog2

2016 BIG Winner… Brand New Truck or $20,000?!

Do you need a feel-good story right now? Could you use some warm fuzzies? Do you wonder (or even doubt) if Outdoor Adventures really gives away a truck of $20,000 every year?

Then keep reading.

On Thursday, February 16, we got to meet with the winners of our 2016 TRUCK or CASH promotion and award them their prize!

Meet… the Balkema Family.

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This is Michelle, Jordan, and their four boys, talking with Outdoor Adventures Kalamazoo Resort manager Rob while waiting for the prize presentation.

As you can imagine, it’s hard to believe when someone tells you that you won, not just anything, but that you get to choose between a brand new truck and $20,000. When Michelle realized her family had won, she didn’t quite believe it. And she cried. And she made us cry. The Balkemas easily made the decision to take the cash. And they are the family that you are happy to see such a big prize go to. For the Balkemas, this prize will make an immediate and big impact.

This is Michelle telling us about their primary plan for the winnings: to pay for long-awaited medical treatment that hasn’t been in the budget.

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This is something they’ve waited a long time to be able to do. This is something Michelle’s grandma has wanted for her for many years. Michelle’s grandma recently passed away, and it sure feels like she had a hand in the Balkemas winning this prize.

Just look at the way Michelle and Jordan look at each other. Their love for each other and their relief at their big win was palpable.

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Their boys, ranging in age from two to 15, are just fantastic kids. Logan kept asking “Can I get a quad?” (like, asked about 50 times in an hour), Phoenyx was patiently waiting to head to the bank afterward (you know, to take THE check to the bank!) so he could get a sucker (or two, since it was a special day), Ryder showed off his master-level Rubik’s Cube skills, and Skyler was the most polite teenage boy you’ll ever meet.

They were already a happy, loving family.

Now they are a happy, loving family with some great new plans!

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We got the chance to ask the Balkemas a few questions about their experience. Check out what they had to say!

Q: Where did you sign up for this truck or cash promotion?
A: At the Kalamazoo Speedway

Q: Why did you sign up?
A: Why not? I didn’t think we’d actually win anything but figured it didn’t hurt to fill out the form.

Q: Have you ever won anything before?
A: A six-pack of Cherry 7-UP

Q: What does this mean to you?
A: A ton. Everything. I can get the medical procedure done. Jordan can now join the boys and I to go to see my family in Texas this spring, for the first time ever. Our family can now go to our other reunion in North Dakota, where we haven’t been in years. We wouldn’t be able to do these things without this money.

CONGRATS again to the Balkema family!

Now go find one of those entry forms and fill it out. Maybe it’ll be your turn next to choose… TRUCK or CASH?!

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14 Comments
  1. Mary Bruce February 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Why is the check dated for 2017? My husband thinks this is a scam!

    • admin February 27, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      We weren’t able to do the presentation until last week, which is when the check is dated for. We gave the family the real check, drawn from our account, to take to their bank and deposit.

  2. Dave Wilson March 4, 2017 at 12:28 am - Reply

    I had entered the contest at the Novi RV Show in early February, and I received a phone call informing me that I’m a finalist who could win the grand prize if I visit a resort and try to see “if my key turns the ignition”. I was scheduled to go this Sunday, but reading the story above, guess I’ll skip it. Kind of disappointed that I would receive a call AFTER a winner was announced. Don’t tell me I have a chance to win then! 🙁

    • admin March 4, 2017 at 12:30 am - Reply

      This was the winner from 2016. This is the first time we were able to get together for the prize presentation. We have not had a winner for 2017 year. We give away a truck or $20,000 every year. You DO still have a chance.

  3. Dave Wilson March 4, 2017 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Ok, cool! We’re back in for Sunday then. Thank you! 🙂

  4. M Harris March 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Is the true or a scam. We just got a call saying we were one of the five finalist and they would mail the key today. Is this some kind of time share where we have to listen to a sales pitch. Im reading this post and the winner from last year just got there check this year?

    • admin March 8, 2017 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      The giveaway is legitimate. The 2016 winner didn’t win until the very end of the year, and the check presentation was the first date they were available to meet with us. Yes, we do tell you about our resorts and take you for a drive around the one you visit. The key you’ll be getting in the mail will come with a letter with more info.

    • Chad March 20, 2017 at 1:51 am - Reply

      Yes it is in a way. Not a time share but a $10,000.00 membership. I was also told I was one of the five finalist to win the grand prize, and was also told if I didn’t win that that I COULD PICK 2 of the other five runner up gifts wich consisted of $500.00 in cash,$250.00 in gift cards,a 50″ flat screen smart tv,3 day 2 night vacation(assuming at one of there camp grounds NOT!!!!!) or an android tablet. So we get there and we meet with one of the sales guys who throws his pitch on why we should buy this MEMBERSHIP on how all of there members are PRE SCREANED unlike when you will camp at a state camp ground, or some other campground. Or in his words we would be “CLASSY TRASHY”. Mind you we their were more than five couples there at our time slot so how I was one of five finalist I don’t know. So here is the good part after we were done with the 90 min Speelman and tour of the camp ground of course we said NO we were then taken into this little room where they have a lock mounted to a peice of fancy wood the guy opens the envelope with the key, and to my supprize the KEY FIT BUUUUUUUUTTTTTT DIDNT WORK!!!!. Oh and when we first started the guy also tells us we have to be reeeeeeaaaaaallllllll lucky to win the truck because the odds of winning are like 1 in 75,0000 or something ,and the only other gifts they are giving away are the trip and the gift cards, which the closest place to Michigan the trip is in the Wisconsin Dells, and the gift cards can only be used on some online store. No picking the two other gifts you want here at this place. When I get there and more couples are showing up I’m kinda wondering how I’m ONE OF FIVE FINALIST!!!! However I did get the 25 speedway gift card just for keeping my time..that was real!!!!

      • Chad March 20, 2017 at 2:06 am - Reply

        Oh and the vacation giveaway after reading the fine print is just another whole timeshare ploy.

  5. K. Wallace March 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    We were called as well to come out yesterday. We cannot come out until the last day, if you get a winner before then will we notified that a winner has be selected? Also how many finalist are in the running?

    • admin March 8, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Yes, you would be notified if there is a winner before your appointment. We draw finalists week to week until there is a winner, so there is not a set number of finalists.

  6. Angela Osburn March 16, 2017 at 2:56 am - Reply

    We just got a call too and I’m excited!! Can’t wait to see if I won and looking forward to checking out the new location! Thank you!!!

  7. Chad March 20, 2017 at 2:11 am - Reply

    Yes it is in a way. Not a time share but a $10,000.00 membership. I was also told I was one of the five finalist to win the grand prize, and was also told if I didn’t win that that I COULD PICK 2 of the other five runner up gifts wich consisted of $500.00 in cash,$250.00 in gift cards,a 50″ flat screen smart tv,3 day 2 night vacation(assuming at one of there camp grounds NOT!!!!!) or an android tablet. So we get there and we meet with one of the sales guys who throws his pitch on why we should buy this MEMBERSHIP on how all of there members are PRE SCREANED unlike when you will camp at a state camp ground, or some other campground. Or in his words we would be “CLASSY TRASHY”. Mind you we their were more than five couples there at our time slot so how I was one of five finalist I don’t know. So here is the good part after we were done with the 90 min Speelman and tour of the camp ground of course we said NO we were then taken into this little room where they have a lock mounted to a peice of fancy wood the guy opens the envelope with the key, and to my supprize the KEY FIT BUUUUUUUUTTTTTT DIDNT WORK!!!!. Oh and when we first started the guy also tells us we have to be reeeeeeaaaaaallllllll lucky to win the truck because the odds of winning are like 1 in 75,0000 or something ,and the only other gifts they are giving away are the trip and the gift cards, which the closest place to Michigan the trip is in the Wisconsin Dells, and the gift cards can only be used on some online store. No picking the two other gifts you want here at this place. When I get there and more couples are showing up I’m kinda wondering how I’m ONE OF FIVE FINALIST!!!! However I did get the 25 speedway gift card just for keeping my time..that was real!!!! I’m sorry but you can’t tell people they are one of five finalist when you keep brining more people in that is called a scam!!!!

  8. teresa wise March 24, 2017 at 7:15 am - Reply

    We got the call for finalist as well. Scheduled for the last day and time slot. The envelope came in mail, and like a goof I opened the key without realizing I wasn’t supposed to. Guess it’s void now. So no point in keeping our appointment. Also the girl did not tell us that we would be there for 90 minutes. Had we known that, we would have scheduled earlier. Now my hubby is disappointed in me for opening it and in the sales rep for not being up front about 90 minutes.
    ~Teresa

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