Eldon Luk essay

I am a part of the University of Virginia’s First Year Council. One of our largest events we put up is our annual First Year Formal, a dance halfway through first semester that is designed to bring First Years together in an effort to help create a sense of class unity. We had many marketing strategies to attempt to attract as many possible First Years to the event. One of the activities we had was a raffle table with many gift cards, special prizes, etc. While the main point of this raffle was not to fundraise but to increase attendance to our event, ultimately it did serve a similar purpose to most raffle fundraising campaigns as it attempted to benefit the University’s First Year Class as a whole.

As the main purpose of the raffle was to increase attendance to First Year Formal, raffle tickets were not sold but rather handed out to everyone who attended the Formal. A lot of marketing was dedicated beforehand to advertise a raffle during the dance for prizes First Year Council believed were enticing to the class’s members. Prizes included gift cards to some of our student body’s favorite off-grounds restaurants, a signed basketball and football from our school teams, etc. Personally, since I am on the Marketing Committee for First Year Council, I was one of the main people who made fliers advertising our raffle and helping to spread the word. On the day of the event, I was one of the greeters at the door who were also in charge of handing raffle tickets to incoming students.

While it is hard to measure how much more enticed students were to come to the dance with the knowledge of the raffle, the overall attendance was incredibly high, almost breaking the school record from four years ago at around 1200 students. Unfortunately, I was not a major part in the actual choosing of people who won the raffle so I am not sure about how that ended up but the overall feedback we received, as well as agreed on within the Council itself, was that the raffle was a very successful part of the dance. Knowing how successful the raffle idea for First Year Formal had turned out definitely gave me more courage in pushing for raffles in all the other events that I have a part in planning at the University. Some of this that I hope to implement in the future includes using raffle tickets to fundraise for Relay for Life, boost attendance at future events, etc.

Overall, including a raffle in the First Year Formal not only helped to increase attendance to the dance but also to help the community at the University and the surrounding Charlottesville area. By increasing attendance at First Year Formal, we were able to help more First Years get to know each other, better creating a sense of community within such a large and diverse class. Similarly, raffling off objects that are directly related to our school helps create a sense of school pride and spirit, which strengthens the student body’s overall identity as University of Virginia students. Finally, as some of the prizes were gift cards to local stores, the raffle would help to boost the local economy in Charlottesville by encouraging students to spend money at these stores. Gift cards are usually not enough to cover the full cost spent at a store so there will definitely be extra income for the stores whose gift cards were raffled. While the direct result of this raffle was not for fundraising purposes, increasing the attendance at First Year Formal also places a renewed spotlight onto First Year Council. This spotlight could be transferred into support for the humanitarian causes the Council chooses to partake in as well.

This experience enriched me overall in that it allowed me to be exposed to many people in my class that I would not have met outside of my classes. I was able to greet and talk to all the different people that came to First Year Formal and it really helped me to appreciate just how diverse my class is.

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