Nick Hosch essay

      Ever bought a raffle ticket and glanced over the prize imagining all the while that it is already yours? Plenty of times. We have all purchased tickets over the years.  Some with a prize list that literally bled off the edges. Others with a mathematical conundrums that just breaks any dream of winning the prize due to the quick odd calculation that took more than a minute. Okay?  1-$5 that ran odds all the way up to 18 for $60.  Really?  You lost me…As I sit and listen to spill, I am suddenly blind and death to the band’s cause.   But, my need to be a winner for the least amount of investment at the greatest odds overtakes my senses and I blurt…I’ll take 6 for $20! And, there it is; .I have six chances to live your dream of claiming $500.00! Not really. But I better figure out what to say when I get these tickets home.  Surely, we will discover a better way

   Tickets aren’t my thing especially if I can’t grasp the very information that would make my sales pitch easy.  I was fully having an internal conversation when, “Bamm!  Rumble!”  the glass shook.  I glanced up as my band leader grunted, “You are responsible for 100 ticket sales again this year, Hosch.”

  What!, I choked out.  Our prize is only $500.00 and a 75 bands members would be selling $5 tickets in the same quad and around the community.  Oh yeah, and to family I heard somewhere in the presentation.  Right?!  If only someone could explain the pink tickets.  Our band colors are royal and yellow.  The Annual Band Explosion is always silver and gold—what is this I asked?  This whole box is full!  I sank and began to pull out the tickets.  I wanted to scan for the numbers.  How many for how much?  Could I cut the sales and make the money that way?  My eyes scurried across the face of the ticket.  I think a bomb went off.  Annual Band Expedition…What!  1771 Magnelia?   1-Ticket $6…I closed my eyes.  Four typos and counting.  What a nightmare.  Our Sienna Trip is depending on the sales for this event and the tickets are pink, the address is wrong and a Band Expedition!  I scrambled to my feet and ran over to our Band Leader.  “These are wrong sir!” I whispered. 

      He smiled disappointedly and proclaimed, “…And they are late.” 

     Before I knew it, I asked if there was anything I could do. With that, my band leader sighed and walked on.  One month from the deposit deadline for the band and we were in trouble.  I knew nothing about tickets but I knew how to use WORD.  I hurried home and went straight to my computer.  In no time at all, I had made another draft of the ticket and placed a bomb exploding with a yellow ray, corrected the misspellings and ticket amounts, and sat back.  Now this was a ticket I could see my family buying.  I shot of an email to the band leader and headed off to dinner.  As I was speaking with my mother and sharing the ticket and my new design, she offered to reprint them on cardstock if her boss approved given what had happened.  Help was on the horizon.  Within hours, the band leader approved the design.  One more approval and the project would be saved. 

    The hours between homework and my mom’s boss agreeing to assist seemed like an eternity.  At school brunch the next day, I got a simple text: He’s in. How many? Can our department sponsor the printing and the purchase of 500 tickets!  My fingers could not go fast enough.  Then it hit me—500 combined tickets or straight tickets?  We needed all the money we could get.  So, I quickly typed: We would love the 500 tickets purchased to go to employees in your department and their families. Any remaining, can be given to local afterschool programs.  A happy emoji!  Five hundred tickets sold!.  Another text: Then, the Radiology Department wants 100, Ear, Nose and Throat 100. ICU 50… When we were done texting, 1000 tickets were sold and the printing had not commenced!  I ran over to the band room to share with the band leader.  What was a hot pink and error filled mess the night before had generated $5000.00 of our $7500 deposit and we still had one month for actual sales. 

    In the end, the combined sales and individual ticket sales garnered our jazz band a whopping $9700 in ticket sales, donations, and new fans in the community.  I can’t say that I fully understood the numbers after a certain point in our fundraising as a band, neither did I win the $500.00 cash prize, but I learned a few good lessons:  Write legibly on your order; cheap is not always best; check your order for errors before distribution, and always seek quality reliable printing.  If by any chance any of the lessons fall through, ask for help.  I did and the given poured in in ways no one had ever imagined. Therefore, the last lesson was the best one of all.  I have used it to assist community programs that service ability challenged children seeking homework assistance and friendship. You see, a raffle ticket is more than an opportunity to receive. It can be the seed that allows one to keep on giving.



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