How a Raffle Helped My Community by Victoria Lanman

How a Raffle Helped My Community by Victoria Lanman

Growing up in the small town of Circleville, Ohio as a Lanman meant that everyone either knew who I was or who my parents were. My parents were beyond active in our small community which in turn made us a common name around town. Something that my parents not only took part in but began was the “Reverse Raffle.” This was an event created to help raise money for my high school’s athletic and art programs. They would sell a raffle ticket for one hundred dollars each and if someone’s ticket was called, they won a small portion of the money raised. However, although many won at some point, most people would donate their money back to the programs in a selfless act. Over the seven years that my parents were involved in the raffle, they raised close to $100,000 for my low-income high school’s programs. In some cases, the money made helped save programs.

For instance, the musical program was on its way out the door until money was raised that helped provide props and musical rights to shows which helped the shows continue for many years. Not only did it help the art programs, but the money also provided new uniforms to multiple sports teams. It seems like a small gesture but with many teams wearing uniforms from the 1990s, it was a large part in reviving our athletics. Ultimately, the Reverse Raffle raised enough money to help create an entire new sports complex for the teams which is called the “Champions Complex.”

Even though I didn’t get to experience this new addition since it was built after I graduated, I still see the effects it has on the students now which include making them proud to attend Circleville High School. I may not have been able to experience the new complex, but being in 6th grade when my parents began this project, I was still impacted. As I finally reached high school up until I was graduated, I was humbled to see that the community would come together to help the students at the local high school. It was more of an investment in the form of a raffle as the money helped the school over time. Many students were helped by this, including my brother and me, and didn’t even realize it.

Overall, the Reverse Raffle showed me the strength my community had in itself that I was unaware of up until then. It made me fall in love with my hometown like I was once was when I was little. It still affects me as I now want to return to work once I graduate college. Although the experience was repeated for seven years in front of my own eyes, it gained more meaning in my life as the years went on. I became more involved in setting up the raffle and helping it be put on without a problem happening. It taught me that teamwork is important to pull off a major event. The raffle showed me the importance of a tight knit community. I hope one day to be able to take part in the Reverse Raffle whether heading the entire event or just being a helping hand as I know the effects it has firsthand.

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Contributed by Victoria Lanman

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