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Anti-Gambling Advocate Wins $25,000 After Shutting Down Veterans Raffle

Southern Illinoisan

It should come as no surprise that public figures are not always who they appear to be. Politicians can be liars, spiritual leaders may be linked to corruption, and celebrities are embroiled in horrifying scandals.

For one Chicago do-gooder, the irony of her situation is almost too much. Kathy Gilroy has crusaded for years trying to stop the spread of gambling addiction across the country, and says she doesn't tolerate any form of it, with a few exceptions.

Gilroy has been involved in the shutdown of numerous illegal lotteries and volunteers her time in order to raise awareness about the dangers of playing with their savings and luck.

It appeared no organization was safe when she played a role in shutting down the raffle held by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), until they received a proper licence.

This is why it came as a shock when she revealed she claimed a $25,000 prize she won in a gambling cafe.

Now, many are asking what makes this different than the games she has criticized in the past.

When Gilroy not only won the prize, but claimed the $25,000 for herself, a lot of community members started asking questions.

VFW Commander Jerry Zeborowski spoke out about the confusing announcment.

"It's ironic that someone who's anti-gambling would enter something like that," Zeborowski said. "That's a little hypocrisy there, don't you think?"

But Gilroy says that this is totally different than the gambling she is typically against.

"I called a pastor friend, and said, 'Oh my God, should I send it back? What do I do? Do I donate it?'" she said. "He said, 'Don't feel guilty. You just got paid for all your volunteer work against gambling.' It's God showing his grace on me."

She says that since much of her money was tied up investments, it made sense for her to take the money. She has participated in sweepstakes in the past and says she will continue to do so.

"It's the gambling I oppose," she said. "not the sweepstakes."

What do you think about her situation?