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A Community Comes Together to Help

Many thanks to Benjamin Butcher for his fine and inspiring  “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay that highlights how selling raffle tickets for your fundraiser can be of great benefit to someone in need.

Benjamin relates some wonderful and personal insights as to why holding a raffle is not only a great fundraising opportunity but also specifies how it helped raise funds for a child fighting a rare form of cancer.

Benjamin goes to the Northwest College of Art and Design where his major is Visual and Performing Arts. Well done Benjamin, and best of luck in school.

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor:  Benjamin Butcher
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As a member of a large community of artists, it has become beneficial to me to become a member of a non-profit artist co-op in order to stand out in a professional perspective. The non-profit I am a member of, SLAM (Supporting Local Artists and Musicians) Studio, recently spent three months benefitting Zane, a local child who was recently diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that is found in the adrenal glands.

Zane is a big, lifelong fan of Batman, the DC Comics character created by Bob Kane. The studio was tasked with planning a day honoring Zane with Batman characters, for the purpose of raising money for his medical treatments. On that day, Zane and his mother walked into a convenience store, which was subsequently “robbed” by a SLAM associate artist disguised as The Joker, Batman’s arch-rival. Batman fought the joker at the convenience store, with Zane’s help, but the joker escaped with his girlfriend, Harley Quinn.

The Joker’s car broke down in front of the Riverfront park, of West Bremerton, and the Batmobile (A Slingshot on loan from a local car dealership), driven by Batman and ridden by Zane met them there to do battle. A well coreographed fight ensued, and the Joker had the upper hand until Zane hit The Joker with a handful of Batarangs. The Joker was then arrested by local law enforcement (An actual police officer who volunteered). Patty Lent, the Mayor of the city of Bremerton, then held a ceremony on the park’s main stage, presenting Zane with the key to the city of Bremerton, followed by Batman presenting the key to the city of Gotham to Zane. The rest of the day consisted of a dual festival in Riverfront Park, including the event, “Zane’s day,” and The Pacific Islander’s festival.

For the rest of the festival, SLAM studio sold raffle tickets for various pieces of art created by myself, as well as other local artists, and local products from the businesses of Kitsap County, WA. Another group of artists, Kitsap Rocks, hid several theme-appropriately painted rocks throughout the park. If a passerby finds one and picks it up, it can be traded for two raffle tickets. All of the rocks were found, and forty extra tickets were distributed. After the sale of hundreds of tickets at fifty cents apiece, the raffle was held on the main stage, the winners were called out, the prizes were claimed, and over $1200 were raised for Zane’s treatment. On December 10th, 2016, a documentary of the event was premiered at the Seefilm Bremerton Cinema in West Bremerton, where the opening speech announced that Zane’s Neuroblastoma treatment was going well and Zane was in a state of improving health.

It was a warm, windy day with an emotionally moving cause, but without the sale of the raffle tickets, the fundraiser may not have done so well, and Zane’s family’s struggle would be more financially difficult. My contributions include the creation of the key to Gotham, auxiliary camera support, booth building, and ticket selling. I believe the results of this were very positive. I feel like I contributed to enriching someone else’s life. Even though my own contribution was minimal compared to the more involved studio members, such as the president, Coleen Dobbins, and the studio’s managers, I find myself appreciating my community and the people that come together to help one another in times of stress.