Monica Dunigan essay

I May Have Not Won the Mustang, But I Still Won a Valuable Prize

My high school desperately needed air conditioning- in the cold Michigan winter months, my classmates and I fared well without, but from the scalding periods between August to mid-October, and from April to June, we would sweat bullets, making focusing and learning near impossible. Our school also holds an annual fundraiser every year, with a raffle at the center of its festivities. In 2015, the fundraising committee had heard the student’s complaints and decided to finally put an end to our suffering by making the years’ raffle about finally installing air conditioning- which is a very costly feat. A family at our school owns a car dealership, and they collaborated with the fundraising committee. In no time, parked outside our school was a bright red mustang- the raffle prize was a two-year lease. With shiny silver rims, a slippery smooth paint job, and a fierce looking grill, I could already hear the engine rev like a lion roaring as I imagined sitting in the black leather driver’s seat, whipping down the expressway with my curly hair flowing behind me, tangling in the wind. Everyone was buzzing with excitement- one of us could get a Mustang. The teachers slipped envelopes full of raffle tickets into our lockers for us to sell for one hundred and fifty dollars each, and the grade which sold the most got a pizza party. Me and my sister split the costs of the ticket and bought one- we really wanted that Mustang. Now, through this raffle, there are multiple parties involved- the school, the students, the parents and general public, and the car dealership. Some of my classmates were curious as to why they were giving up a car for a two-year lease- but that simply was not all that there was to it, as the benefits of “giving a car away” were plentiful, and they had little to lose. This is actually one of the results that the dealership was hoping to achieve. The dealership was getting free advertising in the form of a beautiful cherry red mustang with the dealership’s name and number on a banner beside it, not to mention that whoever wins the car is automatically a customer of their Ford dealership, as they will have to take it in for repairs, and other costly maintenance. This gives the dealership the chance to get a customer for life, and to take those two years to maintain a relationship with the customer, and to retain them and continue business with them in the future. My school and my fellow students both profited by receiving money for a new air conditioning system. The parents and general public got to participate by buying tickets and engaging in a fun spirited raffle- and maybe, just maybe, getting a beautiful Mustang to zoom around in. The dynamics of the raffle and who it effected were very clear to me, and I became very interested in how it worked- so interested that I actually asked my mother to join the fundraising committee because I thought it would be fun.

A freshman’s family friend may have won the shiny new car and not me, but I am proud to say I sold over twenty tickets singlehandedly- that’s three thousand dollars worth. Everyone else in my grade also did exceptionally well, and as the winning grade, we were rewarded with a pizza party. Besides the worthy prize of warm cheesy pizza, I earned something even more valuable through this experience- a firsthand look into an exceptionally good strategy for marketing, customer engagement, and fundraising- the raffle. Because of the many elements of business involved, this experience was one that really hit the nail on the head for me and helped me to decide that I wanted to go to college to study business. I learned how to take part in sales, because going door to door in the mushy cold snow and convincing people to spend one hundred and fifty dollars of their hard-earned money on the chance of maybe getting a car is not a simple feat. This was also smart of my high school- every time I sold a ticket to someone, I would get their name, number, and address, and now my school can send them newsletters and advertise our open houses so they can get more students.

Overall, a dealership benefited by receiving good advertising and a new customer which they now have the opportunity to retain. My high school got advertising and air conditioning for its students, which I loved until I graduated and which I hope future students will appreciate for years to come, and yes, I got my favorite drool-worthy delicious pizza, but most of all, I received a valuable learning experience like no other.

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