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A Raffle Helps Fight Cancer by Maria Gonzales

A Raffle Helps Fight Cancer by Maria Gonzales


A shiny new bench made from a rich lumber found in the lumber yard my uncles and father work at. This bench could be seen from yards away and it was something you would picture in magazines that featured home décor. It gleamed of fresh wax that was placed on to keep the lumber from rotting. The bench was just like one you would find at a park to use for a picnic. It had two side seats and a table all connected. What was it for? It was to be raffled off in order to fundraise for my family’s Relay for life team. This foundation is raising money for cancer awareness and ultimately, a cure. Cancer runs through my family and is something we have been fighting against for years now. So when trying to fundraise, we try to come up with ideas that involve us appealing to the consumer’s eyes.

My uncle who is a mastermind with creating furniture made from lumber decided to build a bench to raffle off at our annual Relay for Life event at my hometown. We wanted to give those who wanted to buy a raffle ticket something that was memorable about this specific bench. So what my uncle did was used pyrography to engrave “Relay for Life 2014” onto the bench. What my family is known for, is to work hard in the things we do and our final products show how much work we put into things. I remember all the “awes” I heard after someone would pass by the bench. My uncle sat in a lawn chair and admired his work and the reactions everyone had to it.

I was in charge of communicating with those who wanted to purchase a raffle ticket for the bench. There was dozens of people who lined up to purchase a ticket and all I thought about was how much we will be earning for this foundation. It was a great idea to think that we would get people’s attention by raffling something that they can keep forever and place in their backyard where they can put in their backyard and enjoy with their family. We captured the attention of those who would like a bench in their backyard the most, to families.

As it turned out, we sold a vast amount of raffle tickets to increase the amount we raised to almost $8,000. We had raised about $4,000 on just raffle tickets for the bench. This was a learning experience for myself. Though my family has a reputation of working hard, I find that we are all capable of thinking of idea that would be best for any scenario. We had the idea of creating a bench for an event where many families will be. And that is exactly what I learned. In order to have a successful raffle fundraiser, you need to know who the consumers will be. In order for that to happen you need to know what the event is about, and who is encouraged to be there. In this even, we created a bench for the family who would take it home. But behind that bench that was won by a family, was the purpose of helping someone who is fighting against cancer. And this is exactly what my family and I are about, we are there to help fight with those who are battling with illnesses.

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Contributed by Maria Gonzales

December 29, 2015