St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School in Brainerd and 84 other Catholic schools kicked off the first million-dollar Catholic Schools Raffle on Friday, Jan. 17.
St. Francis students are selling tickets for a three-state raffle that could present the winner with a $50,000 grand prize or other prizes like a 2014 Honda CR-V or $25,000 cash, $5,000 vacation packages, technology gear and more, hoping to raise $5,000 to support its programs and students.
Last year, 82 participating schools raised a combined total of more than $960,000. In the four years it has existed, the annual raffle has helped Catholic schools raise more than $2.2 million.
St. Francis Catholic School will keep all the money it brings in because St. Paul-based Catholic United Financial covers the entire cost of the prizes and materials. More than 300,000 tickets have been printed and shipped, along with tens of thousands of bulletins, flyers, posters and banners to assist in St. Francis School raffle tickets sales.
“If you want to support your Catholic school, this is the same as marching into the office and writing a check,” said Harald Borrmann, president of Catholic United. “But with the raffle, every $5 buys you a chance to win a car, a vacation, or some other really great stuff. We are really just trying to encourage donations.”
Along with the revenue it receives, St. Francis is also in the running to win a $3,500 grant from Catholic United if it is one of the top-three performing schools. based on tickets sold per student. The top-selling student at each of the 85 schools will win a Kindle Fire HD and St. Francis will celebrate the conclusion of the raffle with an all-school pizza party.
The 85 schools in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota will sell tickets through March 2. The official drawing will be at 11 a.m. March 13. Schools and hopeful ticket holders can watch the drawing ceremony live online at www.catholicunited.org.
Raffle updates can be followed on twitter @raffle4schools and on Facebook at facebook.com/catholicschoolsraffle.