Thank You cardA disabled veteran raising more than $94,000 for the Wounded Warriors project with an online gaming website was surprised Thursday with a giant check for his lifelong cause.

While participating in a Veterans Day parade in New York City, the casual gaming site presented Frederick J Wendt III with a check for $100,000 after he won the company’s sweepstakes this year.

More than 7,000 online gamers have joined Wendt’s charity effort at raising money each time they win — for a total of more than $94,000 since 2008.

Wendt, a 64-year old resident of Baker, Fla., is a disabled Vietnam veteran who was brought to New York by IWON to march in the parade with the Wounded Warrior Project – an organization dedicated to honoring and empowering injured service members. While riding on the float, Wendt was surprised with the check.

“Mr. Wendt’s dedication to this country and to his fellow veterans through his loyal online game play on behalf of Wounded Warrior Project makes him an inspiration to us all,” said the president of IWON.

Launched in 2008, IWON Team Challenge turns casual game play into a serious fundraising machine. Players can raise money for a national or community charity of their choice, form a team in support of a cause of their liking or join an existing team. Every month, the local and national charity whose teams accrue the greatest number of “coins”—IWON’s form of currency—wins a $5,000 prize.

The total winnings donated by IWON to charitable organizations is close to half a million dollars as of October 2010. IWON gives away prizes on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis, and each year it gives away $100,000 as part of its annual grand-prize sweepstakes. Since its launch in October 1999, IWON has given away a total of more than $72 million in prizes.

“This is incredibly shocking. I’ve never won anything of this magnitude before,” Wendt said following his acceptance of the $100,000 prize. “I’ve been playing IWON games for about a decade now just waiting for my moment to hit it big and all I can say is – WOW – this is quite surreal!”

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