Roanoke Man Uses Lottery Winnings to Help Others
Montgomery Co., VA - There are $550 million at stake in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, but one area man is showing how many people you can help with $100,000.
Tony Graves, the owner of Hunter's Burden, opened the deer meat processing market on some land he bought in Montgomery County with those winnings and has since donated well more than a dozen tons of deer meat to Hunter's for the Hungry.
He says it's the busiest year he has ever seen.
A meat cutter by trade, 11 years ago, Graves stumbled onto a market that took his life in a direction he never planned.
It happened after an unexpected windfall when he won $100,000 in the lottery.
"When I bought my property, that's when I first started hunting," said Graves.
Not happy with the way his deer was processed, he began a quest to become nothing short of the best.
"You tell me what you want, we'll try it. Next year we're trying venison bacon. I'll try anything once," he said.
Ever since the quest has taken on a life of its own, and Graves now takes requests from hundreds of hunters every season looking to liven up their game.
"Cajun summer sausage, bologna, bologna with cheese, jalapeño pepper, kielbasa with Colby jack cheese, three kinds of venison hot dogs, four kinds of fresh sausage and venison bacon burger... plus your standard cuts," said Graves.
That keeps him cutting from early in the morning until late at night with dozens of deer on deck waiting their turn.
Extra business comes from area localities that cull deer populations, which means pound after pound of venison is also destined to help feed the less fortunate through Hunters for the Hungry.
Graves says you can help too, even if you don't care for deer meat.
"Get out there and hunt. Bring it to us. We'll take the donates. It's for a good cause. We do our best to support it and we'll process it," said Graves.
Graves says he is going to expand his Montgomery County shop as they continue working on new ways to offer all varieties of wild game meat.
As for Hunters for the Hungry? Graves and his fiancée provide as much as four tons of venison per year to help feed the less fortunate.