Des Moines native, Olympic Gold Medalist and current Champion of
Dancing with the Stars Shawn Johnson was one of the featured celebrity
contestants on the 10th Anniversary Celebration of "Who Wants to be a
Millionaire" with special host Regis Philbin. As a contestant Johnson
was given the opportunity to win $50,000 for the charity of her choice
by sitting in the hot seat and answering a single Millionaire question
Last night viewers saw Johnson correctly answer a question about the
lyrics to "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and thus take home
$50,000 for her charity Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines.
Johnson's affiliation and affection for the hospital goes back several
years to when she was a patient at the hospital for normal childhood
ailments and to when she was introduced to the philanthropic aspect of
giving back to her community by Rich Willis of Willis Autos, a longtime
supporter of the hospital.
An advocate for public awareness and support of Women's and
Children's Cancers, Johnson thought this financial donation would be a
perfect opportunity to support a play space on the fourth floor of
Blank. "When in the hot seat with Regis asking me that question, I
really was certain of my answer but then the pressure of being able to
win the money for the hospital started to make me nervous so I did what
any smart person would do and used my audience lifeline. With that kind
of money on the line, the kind of money that can benefit so many
children, I didn't want to take any chances," says Johnson.
"Our staff, families and patients feel honored that Shawn Johnson is
committed to Blank Children's Hospital, her hometown children's
hospital. We are excited that she has named the Playroom on the fourth
floor of Blank Children's, and a place where so many patients and
families will benefit from her generous gift," said Ken Cheyne, MD,
Medical Director, Blank Children's Hospital.
In special recognition for her generosity and commitment to helping
children, Blank Children's will hold a check presentation ceremony at
the hospital with Johnson.