A Willoughby woman received a huge surprise Thursday.

Kelly Feckley thought she was meeting with retirement advisers at Lifeguard Financial in Mentor, to be interviewed for a contest that would pay off some of her mortgage. But when she got there, she was pleasantly surprised. 

“You're not here to be interviewed as one of the finalists. I’m here to tell you are the finalist. that you won. You have 6 months of mortgage payments."

The gift was made possible through a partnership with the Gradient Gives Back Foundation, a nonprofit that devotes its resources to assisting families in need.

“I’m so pleased to help Kelly get back on her feet,” said Anthony Newman, president of Lifeguard Financial.  “As a Mentor business, I’m committed to supporting our community and giving back.”

Kelly was laid off in January and said she'd struggled to make mortgage payments. She was even facing foreclosure on a home she'd lived in for twenty years. 

Lifeguard Financial teamed up with Just In Time Staffing, who is assisting Kelly in securing a higher-paying job. 

“It's just amazing and my heart rate is still beating really fast. i'm so grateful and excited for this opportunity,” said Feckley.

The contest organizers say Kelly was a natural choice, because she's also self-less -- she's spent many years volunteering at the Edna House, helping women recover from alcoholism and addiction.