YMCA Dream House Winner Announced


Ronald and Linda Herzberger, of Parma, embrace outside of the 2012 Lake County YMCA Dream House they won on Aug. 19, 2012.

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CONCORD TWP., Ohio -- When Ronald Herzberger was told he had been selected as a semifinalist in the Lake County YMCA Dream House drawing, he had forgotten he had even purchased a ticket.

He was one of 20 people out of 63,000 entries who got the call on Wednesday, with an invitation to try a key in the front door to determine the final winner.

Ronald and Linda Herzberger, of Parma, embrace outside of the 2012 Lake County YMCA Dream House they won on Aug. 19, 2012.

Herzberger, a retired Cleveland Clinic worker, arrived at the Concord Twp. property for the first time on Sunday.

He waited for his turn as several other semifinalists attempted to open the door.  They walked away, disappointed, when it didn't budge.

But it swung wide open for Herzberger, changing his life with the turn of a key.

"I was numb inside.  I couldn't believe it.  I couldn't believe when it turned," he said after opening the door.

His wife, Linda, then rushed onto the porch where the two embraced and uttered what little they could make of their emotions.

"Unbelievable!  Thankful... grateful... unbelievable!" they repeated.

The grandeur of the Dream House, now their house, is enough to put anyone at a loss for words.

2012 Lake County YMCA Dream House located in Cambden Creek Estates of Concord Twp.

The two-story, 2,800 square ft. dwelling in Concord Twp. has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a two-car garage, large walk-in closets and massive great room with vaulted ceilings, plus top of the line furnishings and appliances.

Other amenities include a see-through fireplace that takes your eye from inside the great room to the great outdoors, a spa room complete with a massage table and custom artwork throughout.

*Click here to go inside the home

“I love the relaxation room, cause I love massages,” Ron said.

"I like the kitchen a lot, and the master bedroom a lot," Linda chimed in.

The Herzbergers may keep the home and its furnishings or choose a $200,000 cash prize.

Linda said they will have to discuss it before they make a decision, adding, "Parma has been good to us."

The Herzbergers said they aren't used to winning much, let alone dream houses, but they did win a video camera a few years ago.

It was not rolling, or even there, when Ron turned the winning key, but the couple didn't need it for this experience, which will likely remain a vivid memory for the rest of their lives.

"The Dream House project is a capstone of our organization.  It takes numerous dedicated workers, volunteers and advocates to make the house a success each year," said Dick Bennett, the Lake County YMCA executive director and CEO.  "And the outcome is always the same... a beautiful home, a happy winner and increased awareness of the good deeds of our YMCA."

Proceeds from the Dream House project have totaled over $3.5 million since 1993 and are used to enhance the facilities and equipment at each of the four Lake County YMCA branches.

(Fox 8 reporter Suzanne Stratford contributed to this report.)

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