ABOVE: Representatives of each group that sold tickets in the raffle each received a ceremonial check representing the amount their group earned from raffle ticket sales
BELOW: Drawing the prize-winners (NEWS-LEDGER photos)
By Steve Marschke News-Ledger Editor
So it went down like this:
Around 30 local charity groups together sold over 3,000 raffle tickets as part of the "All Charities Raffle" this year. The raffle drawing was held Saturday night (Oct. 16, 2010) at a spaghetti dinner in the Our Lady of Grace School auditorium. The first raffle prize scheduled to be awarded was a set of "Disney on Ice" tickets donated by the News-Ledger. The person asked to draw a winner for that prize was Bill Kristoff, a city council member and co-founder of the West Sacramento Foundation, the group that organized the raffle.
"He said ‘Aw, I’ll probably draw my own name,’" recalls Charles Moore, co-organizer of the raffle.
On stage in front of the crowd, Kristoff reached into a drum full of 3,000 raffle tickets. And -- you guessed it -- he managed to pull out his own name.
"He immediately threw it away and drew again – but what are the odds?" chuckled Moore.
It was a lucky night for about 17 raffle winners. A top prize of a trip for two to New York was won by Bonnie Irwin, who bought her raffle ticket from a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.
"She said, ‘You know, my mother has always wanted to go to New York,’" said Moore. "I’m going to take this trip, and take my mother with me."
Brenda Overbo bought a ticket from Kiwanis, and won a trip to Las Vegas. Sue Heitaran bought a ticket from the pre-school advocacy group UP4WS, and it earned her a flat-screen TV and blue-ray player. Other prizes included a $500 shopping spree at Ikea, a $500 gas card, and use of a Lake Almanor cabin.
It was also a lucky night for local charities. By participating in the Foundation’s raffle, they got to keep $9 from every $10 ticket their members sold. (The remaining dollar from each ticket went to cover raffle expenses, with change left over for the Foundation to do some more charity work.)
"$33,660 will be going back to the community, and that’s the great thing," said Moore.
Fellow organizers of the first-annual "All Charities Raffle" were Katherine Van Diest and Joe Goeden.
Armando Omega, a chiropractor, helped sell raffle tickets to raise money for the Centennial Rotary Club’s charity work.
"We sold 127 tickets, so we earned $1,143," said Omega. "We have an international project that this money will help, and we’re also going to spend money on the Collings Teen Center."
Will the raffle return next year?
"Every group I’ve talked to said they can’t wait," said Moore.