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Lemonis makes a $3 million challenge

January 1st, 2017

Chicago businessman Marcus Lemonis donated $250,000 to University of Miami, to support its athletics department. And he threw in a challenge.

Lemonis will match half of every dollar raised, up to $2 million donated to UM athletics. That would result in a $1 million gift from Lemonis and $3 million combined with donors.

Earlier this year, the Miami native offered a similar challenge to Marquette University, his alma mater. If donors there could raise $700,000, he’d contribute $300,000. They exceeded the challenge.

To kick off the “Match Marcus” campaign, Lemonis presented a $250,000 check to Athletic Director Blake James at a Hurricane Club pregame celebration for the Russell Athletic Bowl at Camping World Stadium.

Lemonis, who now lives in Chicago, is chairman and CEO of Camping World Holdings, which went public earlier this year.

Most folks, though, know Lemonis for his role in CNBC’s “The Profit.” The reality show has has him offering insight to struggling small businesses in exchange for a stake in the companies. (A new show called “The Partner” also features Lemonis.)

The self-described serial entrepreneur doesn’t invest for TV’s sake. Lemonis recently became a majority owner in Bow Truss Coffee Roasters in Chicago.

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