Brian Ishii

The first raffle fundraising campaign I participated in was for my sister’s travel softball team, the Salinas Storm. My sister’s team was fundraising to go to nationals, where the best softball teams compete. The fundraiser was a 50-50 raffle, where half of the proceeds go to my sister’s team and the other half goes to one lucky winner. I think 50-50 raffles are the best because it benefits the organization, and someone also gets to be the big winner. It adds some excitement to the fundraiser. All of the players, parents, and family members, sold raffle tickets to people watching games at a softball tournament on the weekend. I wanted to sell the most raffle tickets because I wanted to do my part in helping my sister go to nationals. I worked hard to sell these tickets, and being nine years old, my young age was an advantage. I learned to explain what the fundraiser was for, to be respectful to people, and to get all my numbers right. Saying “pretty please” also helped too. It was “one ticket for a dollar or six tickets for five dollars”. I always pushed for the six tickets for five dollars because it was a deal. Selling tickets was a beneficial experience as a nine year old because I worked on communicating with different people and I had to be responsible for the money I collected and tickets I sold. I loved doing it because it gave me responsibilities that were not too easy or too overwhelming. I still remember one of the spectators at the tournament who only wanted to buy one ticket. I explained to him that buying six was a deal, and we haggled for a bit. It was the first time I had ever haggled. In the end, he chose to take the deal, and he bought six tickets for five dollars. It was nice, and I thanked him and wished him luck. It was always an accomplishment making the donation and running back to the table where the bin with all the sold raffle tickets was located. I particularly enjoyed ripping the perforated ends because I could never rip paper that perfectly without them. It was a long day, and everyone sold as many tickets as they could sell. Then comes the best part of the day. Picking the lucky raffle ticket for the winner of the other half of the pot. I remember watching everyone staring at their tickets comparing their number to the number being called out over the speaker. Most of the people sighed in defeat, but one lucky winner, a high school student, jumped out of her seat. She exclaimed, “I won!” She wasn’t the only winner that day. After the money was tallied, we made a thousand dollars in the raffle for the team. It was a successful fundraiser, and a fun experience for my family and everyone else involved. I particularly enjoyed it because it taught me many skills that I still use today. I always prefer raffle fundraisers because of this. I think selling raffle tickets works really well because you get to explain to the donor what the proceeds will benefit. Also, people buying the tickets get a chance to win something, which I think is always a nice touch.    


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