The chance to win $50,000 in prizes began Friday, Jan. 17, when students of Vermillion’s St. Agnes School joined 84 other Catholic schools to kick off ticket sales for what the schools hope will be the first million-dollar Catholic Schools Raffle, and the biggest one yet.
St. Agnes School’s students will sell tickets for a three-state raffle offering prizes like a 2014 Honda CR-V or $25,000 cash, $5,000 vacation packages, cool technology gear and more, hoping to raise $10,000 to support its programs and students.
Last year, 82 participating schools raised a combined total of more than $960,000. In the four years it has existed, the annual raffle has helped Catholic schools raise more than $2.2 million.
St. Agnes School will keep 100 percent of the money it brings in because St. Paul-based Catholic United Financial covers the entire cost of the prizes and materials. More than 300,000 tickets have been printed and shipped, along with tens of thousands of bulletins, flyers, posters and banners to help St. Agnes School increase sales.
“If you want to support your Catholic school, this is the same as marching into the office and writing a check,” Catholic United President Harald Borrmann said. “But with the raffle, every $5 buys you a chance to win a car, a vacation, or some other really great stuff. We are really just trying to encourage donations.”
Along with the revenue it receives, St. Agnes School is also in the running to win a $3,500 grant from Catholic United if it is one of the top-three performing schools (based on tickets sold per student). The top-selling student at each of the 85 schools will also win a Kindle Fire HD and the top classroom, a pizza party.
The 85 schools in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota will sell tickets from Friday’s kickoff through March 2, prior to the official drawing at 11 a.m., March 13. Schools and hopeful ticket-holders can watch the drawing ceremony live online at www.catholicunited.org.