In a heartwarming tribute, the Hope through Housing Foundation has commemorated the generosity and spirit of former National CORE resident and esteemed donor Jack Long with the dedication of a bench in his honor.
The special event was held at the affordable housing community of Fountains at Sierra in Fontana and was well-attended by residents and family members.
Long, who moved to Fountains at Sierra in 2010, won $60 million in the Powerball lottery in July 2014 on a ticket purchased at the local Cardenas Market, where he often trekked to get his favorite sugar-free popsicles.
Long received a lump sum of $35.9 million, which he used to launch the Fontana Foundation of Hope in 2015 to benefit the community he loved. From 2015 to 2022, his foundation donated nearly $500,000 to support programs and services provided by Hope through Housing and benefitting all National CORE residents living in Fontana.
Long passed away on August 14, 2022. He was 83.
“The support that he’s given to the residents, it’s unbelievable. I can’t even tell you how many lives he’s changed,” Hope through Housing Service Coordinator Lynda Roman said. “We wanted to honor his legacy. We wanted to do something so that everyone who comes and goes will remember him.”
Long has left behind an impressive legacy of support thanks to his foundation, which also has given more than $5 million to groups across Fontana, including Fontana Santas, Pop Warner, Fontana Unified School District, Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House, National MS Society, veterans’ programs, Little League and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
His daughter, Jacque Long, now leads the Foundation of Hope and is planning a memorial to let the community know the foundation is still working to benefit local organizations.
During the dedication, she noted that the bench is in her father’s favorite color: gray.
“He would have loved it,” she said.
The dedication included more than a score of residents – many of them old friends of Jack– as well as his family.
Jan, a long-time resident of Fountains at Sierra, told of her friendship with Jack, including a shared love of coffee and doughnuts.
“I used to drive Jack to his doctors’ appointments and his eye surgery appointments and afterwards we would always stop at a doughnut shop to have a cup of coffee and a doughnut,” she said. “He loved his doughnuts. I’ve been to all sorts of doughnut shops in the surrounding area. I’m looking forward to sitting out on that bench and having coffee with Jack again.”
Janet said Jack was a sweet man who bought her socks. She remembered the day his coffee pot broke, and he went out and bought a new pot the same day so he wouldn’t miss a day of his coffee.
“He was a good man. Very nice to us,” she said.
Dan, another friend, said Jack turned to him for advice on wheelchairs and a mobility van when he won the lottery. The two visited for about an hour at Jack’s house just a couple of weeks before Jack passed away.
“He was a good guy. We had a lot of conversations,” he said.