Most folks don’t have $1 million just sitting around. But when some are hardworking, savvy or lucky enough to acquire such a sum, it can do a lot of good – or get you killed.

Ed Jenkins/submitted photo

Ed Jenkins/submitted photo

Tucsonan Ed Jenkins used $1 million to do some good. A volunteer at Interfaith Community Services since 2003, he and his wife, Kay, gifted the Tucson organization with the generous sum.

“From the day I began as a volunteer at ICS,” Ed said in the ICS news release, “I have been very impressed with two things: the way ICS uses its many volunteers to leverage what it does so well, and the very practical way that it serves those in need.” Jenkins is also a board member.

Last year ICS helped more than 36,000 Pima County residents, providing nearly 50,000 services. These include a food bank, Mobile Meals, rides to doctor appointments and errands, home repairs and sometimes just a call or visit to check up on someone or say hello.

We like ICS. It even has a little heart in its masthead. More than 600 folks who volunteer also seem to like the organization, which has been helping seniors, disabled folks and families in financial crisis for the past 25 years.

The Jenkins’ donation starts with $250,000 to set up the ICS Endowment and will continue by matching up to $750,000 in donations that come in from other sources. Donate, learn more or volunteer by visiting

Way to go, Ed and Kay, and congrats to ICS.

This story is so compelling, Ed is going to be profiled in next week’s column on What It’s Like to be a Tucson Millionaire. Stay tuned on Rynski’s Blogski.

The $1 million in the ICS case is definitely a blessing. A Florida truck driver found it to be a curse.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Abraham Shakespeare, 43, won a windfall of $31 million in the Florida lottery in 2006.

He pooh-poohed annual installments and instead took the lump-sum payment of $16.9 million.

Shakespeare then bought a $1 million home in one of those fru-fru gated communities, a new car, a pawn shop Rolex, the New York Daily News reports. He was also quickly surrounded by parasites.

“They didn’t wait,” his mom Elizabeth Walker said in the News story. “They just came right after they found out he won this money.”

Shakespeare, who had a criminal record for not paying child support, battery and burglary, started dealing out the dollars. He paid for friends’ business ventures, funerals and even gave $1 million to a guy called “Big Man.”

Then came Dee Dee Moore, a woman with her own criminal past that included a false claim of being carjacked and raped. She told Shakespeare she wanted to write a book about him and became his financial adviser of sorts.

Shakespeare was last seen in April and reported missing in November. No one is yet being charged with murder, but things aren’t looking so positive. He never called his mom on Christmas.



What do you think?

Have you seen lives either highly enhanced or ruined by money?

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Would you donate to a Tucson organization that helps others? Which one?