Aubrey Schachter essay

 

Camp Tiger is a weeklong summer camp for children with special needs in the New Orleans area. Hosted by second year medical students, it is completely free of charge for the 200 children who attend. The children are given the opportunity to experience all the fun and exciting activities that New Orleans has to offer, from the Zoo to the Aquarium and much more in between. The event typically costs over $100,000 to run, money that is raised entirely by the students. This year, I served as the Event Coordinator for the Camp Tiger Benefit and Auction, an annual event to raise money for the camp. In its 32nd year, the event typically features a silent auction, with items ranging from books and gift cards to vacation packages, and a live auction, featuring many priceless items and experiences. As Event Coordinator, I worked to make the event a success, and sought out other methods of donation. This year, we utilized raffle tickets in two capacities in order to expand our opportunity for donation.

As the event is hosted by medical students, many of the attendees do not have a disposable income to spend on high ticket items. To target this population, and give them an opportunity to donate in smaller amounts, we opted to host two raffles: a 50/50 Raffle and a Mystery Bag Raffle. Both raffles proved to be highly popular, raising over $1500. The 50/50 Raffle is a very attractive deal — if a guests’ ticket was the winner, they would take home half of all the raffle money. The tickets were sold for $20 each, and the winning student, a fourth year medical student in the midst of applying to residency programs, took home $800. Meanwhile, we collected $800 in donations to Camp Tiger.

The Mystery Bag Raffle was also a huge success. Many items that were donated to our event were too small in value to be placed in the silent auction, so we created a Mystery Bag Raffle. Every twenty minutes, a new ticket was selected, and the winning guest was notified. Guests could purchase raffle tickets for $20, and, if their ticket was a winner, they would take home a mystery item worth $25 or more. This gave guests who were uninterested in the other forms of donation a chance to donate and personally benefit. Over $1000 was raised with our Mystery Bag Raffle.

Overall, our event was a huge success, ultimately raising over $100,000. While most of this came from high priced items, we were able to engage a different type of guest via the use of raffle tickets. Medical students are often working with small budgets, but many of them are personally connected to our event, having directly participated in previous years. Providing these guests with a raffle gave them an affordable opportunity to contribute, and garnered even more support and camaraderie. Our raffle was a fun and valuable addition to our event, and is sure to be a hit in years to come.

 

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