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How a Raffle Helped My Life by Edward Ramirez

How a Raffle Helped My Life by Edward Ramirez


I realized how hard it was to participate in selling raffle tickets in the summer of 2003. I was an eighth grader heading into my freshman year of high school. That summer was the most important summer because basketball tryouts were starting. The only way all the hard work was going to pay off was making the basketball team. In the old hot gym of Norwalk High School is where my destiny relied. It turns out that not many people wanted to play basketball because only eight or nine of us showed up, but that means I made the team! That’s is all I wanted. I just needed a chance to prove to someone I could play some basketball.

Drills, working out and more drills were the only things going through my head. I had my summer planned out. There were tournaments that I had checked off on my calendar. We were going to have practice every other day to get ready for them, but there was only one problem. Apparently, the sophomore’s took all of their practice jerseys with them. I assumed that is exactly what was supposed to happen, but that left the new freshman without any jerseys to play with. So, we went through practice with our own shirts and shorts. That was no big deal to me as I was most comfortable in my clothes anyways. The school would just get us jerseys before our tournament, right? NOPE! We went to our first tournament with white shirts and black shorts. What kind of team doesn’t have jerseys!?

We finished third at the end of that tournament. Not bad for a bunch of white shirts and black shorts. You see jerseys made you feel like a team. Jerseys made you feel like you were bigger than just an individual. At the end of the tournament my coach told us “If you want jerseys you are going to pay for them yourselves.” My parents did not want to pay one hundred and thirty dollars for a practice jersey, so that means I had to come up with it myself.

This is how a raffle ticket help me in my life. I told my coach that I probably could not afford it. He looked at me and said “So, that means you are going to have to work for it.” I thought that might mean working the snack bar or cleaning the baseball and soccer field. He reach under his desk and pulled out a brick of tickets. In that brick was two hundred raffle tickets that I had to sell at one dollar a piece. I got to work and I sold fifty to my family right off the bat! Then sales started slowing down as I did not really know anyone else. School was just about to start, but who was going to buy a raffle ticket where the winner gets a school sweatshirt, shirt and sweatpants?

I busted my butt and ended up selling the rest of the one hundred and fifty within the first month of school. The end game of selling the tickets was not the best part. Raffle tickets taught me that the reward is in the process and not the result. I had to work hard on selling these raffle tickets to become part of a team. It helped me realize that meeting and talking to new people is essential in everyday life. Raffle tickets helped me grow as an individual who was trying to get something positive out of, what most people consider, a negative situation. I never thought of raffle tickets as “essential”, but they really do open you up as a person. They make you work hard to get to your goal. Thank you raffle tickets.

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Contributed by Edward Ramirez