msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 4/17/2009 2:27:55 PM ET 2009-04-17T18:27:55

A Kalamazoo-area man who won $10,000 in the Michigan Lottery's Club Keno game has donated his winnings to a charity.

Soon after winning the money on March 11, Jim Dancy of Richland decided others needed it more than he did. So he gave it all to the Greater Kalamazoo United Way.

"I was heavily influenced by my close friend Julie, who taught me to think of others first, and to stop and think about what life is really about. I know the needs in the community are great right now, so for me it was the right thing to do," Dancy said in a statement released by the Michigan Lottery.

Dancy is co-founder, vice president and chief operating officer of Innovative Analytics, a biological research company in Kalamazoo. He said he felt good about his decision and was confident that United Way was the correct recipient.

"I feel very good today, knowing I could help a little — probably my 'best day' in a long time. When everyone was thanking me, I was thinking how much you all do every day, and thought it should really be the other way around: I should be thanking you. So, thanks for your work," he said.

Mike Larson, Greater Kalamazoo United Way's president and chief executive, called the gesture an "incredible act of kindness and generosity" and said the donation couldn't have come at a better time.

"With the increased need that area service providers are experiencing and the reduction in resources available to so many area nonprofits, this gift will help improve the lives of many in our community," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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