Entertainment
'Survivor' winner donates his $1 million winnings to veterans in need
Not all heroes wear capes. Some are cast into an island.
Elijah Chan
12.21.22

Apparently, it was just the beginning of a bigger fight.

The longest-running reality TV show just concluded its 43rd season just recently. The TV show pits people from different industries and backgrounds against each other as they try to survive isolation through craft and winning competitions.

YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11

This season’s winner, Mike Gabler, surprised the show’s host and the audience when he announced what he’ll do with the money he won.

Mike Gabler, a heart valve specialist, won $1,000,000.

After being announced as the winner, he revealed that he will donate not only a part but the entirety of his winnings to the advocacy he’s been fighting for.

YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11

For his entire stay in the show, Gabler has been telling fellow competitors what he’ll do with the money.

YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11

“And I’m going to donate the entire prize — the entire million-dollar prize, in my father’s name, Robert Gabler, who was a Green Beret — to veterans in need who are recovering from psychiatric problems, PTSD and curb the suicide epidemic.” He said to FOX 7.

Veteran support has been a challenge in the United States.

PTSD is also one of the most prevalent concerns surrounding those who came back from service. From the Iraqi War, 20 out of 100 veterans have PTSD. That’s 12 for every 100 for Gulf War veterans and 15 out of 100 for Vietnam War veterans.

YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11

Trauma is also not only caused by combat. According to Veterans Affairs, 55 out of 100 women and 38 out of 100 men in the military experienced sexual harassment.

Gabler insisted, however, that this victory doesn’t belong to him alone.

He celebrated with his castmates and told them that their efforts will save lives and do something good. He was quoted cheering: “All of us did this. We made history, guys!”

YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11

Probst then further discussed with Gabler his intentions. The 43rd survivor said that he didn’t grow up wealthy and cannot take the money in good conscience, especially with what was happening in the world right now.

YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KHOU 11

He wanted to show people why they still watch and support shows like this because it can be a way for people to do something amazing.

He also shared why he choose to support veterans.

He never served in the armed forces but he grew up in a military family, so he is exposed to the kind of problems veterans are facing such as homelessness and trauma.

Tingnan ang post na ito sa Instagram

Isang post na ibinahagi ni Survivor (@survivorcbs)

He also spoke good things about the show saying that they had a chance of a lifetime to go on a great adventure. He said that they all learned a lot from each other and those were things that he’d cherish forever.

Survivor is set to being its 44th season on March 1.

The show premiered in Borneo at the turn of the century and has seen 644 contestants come and go. Gabler is the second oldest winner at 53. Bob Crowley was the oldest at 57.

Tingnan ang post na ito sa Instagram

Isang post na ibinahagi ni Survivor (@survivorcbs)

The 43rd season saw competitors vie for the title all the way from the beautiful islands of Fiji. Gabler was also not nominated for the entire stretch of the competition and his name was written down the first time when the jurors voted for the winners.

Watch the 43rd Survivor’s plans for his prize money.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
[email protected]
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement